Asahi 'in $4.8b deal to buy beer brands'
TOKYO • Japan's Asahi Group Holdings has agreed to buy SABMiller's Peroni and Grolsch beer brands and is likely to pay more than 400 billion yen (S$4.8 billion), the Nikkei business daily reported yesterday.
Asahi is Japan's biggest brewer with 38 per cent market share. Known for its Super Dry beer, the company is looking to access growth outside Japan. Beer sales in the country have fallen over the past two decades due to a shrinking population and the growing popularity of wine.
An earlier line-up of bidders for Peroni and Grolsch beers included US private equity firm KKR; Fraser and Neave, which is part of Thai Beverage; and European private equity firms PAI Partners and EQT.
SoftBank reports rise in Q3 operating profit
SoftBank Group Corp increased third-quarter operating income by 7.3 per cent on new customers in Japan, as billionaire chairman Masayoshi Son sees signs of a turnaround at its beleaguered US unit Sprint Corp.
Operating profit rose to 189.6 billion yen (S$2.3 billion) in the three months to Dec 31, the company reported yesterday.
Net income fell 88 per cent to 2.3 billion yen.
SoftBank stock has been hammered by pessimism about Mr Son's ability to turn around Sprint after he paid US$22 billion (S$30.6 billion) for a controlling stake in 2013.
With about US$100 billion of debt, ending losses at the US wireless carrier is seen as critical to reviving the shares, with Mr Son saying yesterday that the struggling unit is making progress.