Japanese beer brewer Asahi has acquired SABMiller's Grolsch and Peroni beer brands, which it was forced to sell to enable a merger with Belgian AB InBev.
Largest Japanese brewer
Asahi has apparently paid 400 billion yen (3.1 billion euro) for the Italian Peroni and Dutch Grolsch brand, outmaneuvering several investment firms like KKR, PAI Partners and EQT. Even Thai Beverage had expressed an interest in both brands.
The company is the largest brewer in Japan, with a 38 % market share, but it is looking for ways to expand its reach abroad as there is very little growth left in the Japanese market with its aging, wine-drinking population. The acquisition of these two brands is the company's biggest foreign deal ever.
SABMiller decided to offload Grolsch and Peroni to outwit the antitrust agencies, which most likely would have objected to the AB InBev merger if both brands were still part of SABMiller's product range. The merger of the two largest beer brewers in the world should be finalized by mid-2016.