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Suntory to acquire Japanese Soft Drinks Division of Nichirei

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Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd. said Tuesday that it has reached a basic agreement to acquire the soft drink division of frozen food maker Nichirei Corp. (2871.TO).
Suntory, which currently bottles and distributes PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) products in Japan, said it will buy Nichirei’s acerola drink division in the spring of 2010, but it did not disclose the amount of the transaction.
The deal will allow Suntory to manufacture and sell the product, while Nichirei will supply the soft drink’s raw material, acerola juice. The division’s sales totaled Y5.5 billion in the year ended March.
The deal comes as privately held Suntory is in merger talks with Kirin Holdings Co. (2503.TO), which could lead to the creation of a huge beverage company that would rival Coca-Cola Co. in terms of sales.
The two companies are both beer brewers, but they have also diversified into nonalcoholic beverages such as food and health-related fields to expand sources of revenue.

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Friday, November 24, 10:29 pm

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