Suntory Holdings Ltd, the family-owned Japanese brewing company, announced on Friday the completion of its 100% acquisition of Orangina Schweppes Group as it bids to expand overseas.
Suntory purchased the soft-drinks manufacturer from Lion Capital LLP and the Blackstone Group, although the actual transaction price has not been made public.
In a statement released on Friday Suntory said: "This acquisition of Orangina Schweppes Group will provide Suntory with a solid platform in Europe in the soft drinks business, and is a further step in Suntory's global expansion strategy. It aims to maximise synergies with Suntory's existing non-alcoholic beverage and food businesses Frucor Group in Australasia, Cerebos Pacific in South East Asia, Tipco F&B, a JV in Thailand and the strong domestic platform in Japan."
The acquisition is part of a wider strategy by company head and third-generation family member Nobutada Saji to expand overseas. Suntory currently enjoys a strong market share in Japan, but the business is looking to strengthen its international market share in light of contracting domestic markets.
Saji's forward-thinking strategy has earned him a place on the shortlist for www.campdenFB.com's Family Business Leader of the Year. Click here to review the shortlist and cast your vote.
Suntory is also in talks with rival brewer Kirin over a potential merger deal. (Click here to read our coverage of the story)
Suntory was the first company to brew whisky in Japan in 1923 and has enjoyed a strong market share ever since. Founded in 1899 by Shinjiro Torii, Suntory is still 90% owned by the founding family. Suntory Holdings Ltd had 2008 sales of $16 billion and Saji has a personal fortune of $3.5 billion.
Orangina Schweppes Group is based in France and markets, bottles and distributes non-alcoholic beverages including Orangina, Schweppes, Oasis and Trina. The group is mainly active in Europe and recorded 2008 revenues of €1 billion.
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