Wed, Aug 03, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Kirin purchases majority stake in Brazilian brewer

AP, TOKYO

Kirin Holdings Co said yesterday it bought a controlling stake in Brazilian brewer Schincariol Group for US$2.53 billion in one of the biggest overseas takeover deals by a Japanese company this year.

The purchase is part of the Japanese drinks company’s efforts to find new growth overseas to offset a shrinking, aging population at home. Brazil’s large beverage market is expected to grow rapidly along with the country’s economy.

Kirin’s move also highlights an aggressive global shopping spree this year by Japanese companies seeking to benefit from a strong yen, which makes overseas deals more affordable, and abundant cash. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami added to their drive to secure new business outside of Japan.

Data from Dealogic shows that the value of overseas takeovers and acquisitions by Japanese firms so far this year is up 110 percent from a year earlier to US$46.7 billion.

Kirin’s latest purchase is the third-biggest overseas deal this year and the second-biggest Japanese acquisition in Latin America on record, according to Dealogic. It follows Takeda Pharmaceutical’s US$13.7 billion purchase of Switzerland’s Nycomed and Terumo Corp’s US$2.6 billion takeover of Colorado-based CaridianBCT Holding Corp earlier this year.

With Schincariol, Kirin gains a foothold into South America’s biggest economy, where the beer and soft drink markets are worth an estimated ¥3 trillion (US$38.8 billion) each.

Schincariol is the second-largest beer producer in Brazil, known for brands such as Nova Schin, Devassa and Bem Loura. It also ranks third in the country’s carbonated soft-drinks market.

It owns 13 factories and a nationwide distribution network in Brazil, Kirin said in a statement.

The acquisition provides Kirin “a solid base in the fast-growing Brazilian market in addition to the existing base in the Asia and Oceana regions,” the company said.

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