Business World

Saturday 21 April 2018

Japan’s Asahi plans £2bn bid for Peroni and Grolsch beers

Ben Marlow

Japanese beverage maker Asahi is planning to wade into the bidding for Grolsch and Peroni, with a £2.4bn bid for the popular European beer brands, the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Shimbu newspaper has reported.

Grolsch and Peroni are being off-loaded by Anheuser-Busch InBev, as part of its mammoth takeover of FTSE-100 brewer SAB Miller, dubbed “Megabrew”. The $100bn deal will be one of the biggest ever seen.

AB InBev believes the sale of premium brands such as Peroni and Grolsch will help the bid get past regulators in Brussels, which has powers to block the deal on competition grounds.

The pair will account for one in every three beers sold globally and own scores of top brands around the world. Peroni and Grolsch are two of SABMiller’s four global brands, the others being Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell. The pair will also own European best-sellers Corona and Stella Artois.

Bids for Peroni and Grolsch are expected as early as this week, the report said. Other suitors are expected to include private equity firms KKR and Cinven, and Spanish beermarker Mahou-San Miguel. It is thought AB-InBev hopes to clinch a deal by early March.

If Asahi is successful, it could be the biggest overseas beverage acquisition by a Japanese company, potentially topping Kirin’s $3.3bn takeover of Australia’s Lion Nathan in 2009, Yomiuri Shimbu claimed.

Asahi’s overseas operations have been mainly in Oceania and Asia. However, its flagship Super Dry beer has become popular in Europe. Asahi’s overseas sales stood at 13 pc in 2014.

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business