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September 23, 2009

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Suntory makes an offer for Europe's Orangina

JAPAN'S Suntory Holdings has made a binding offer to buy European drink maker Orangina from private equity firms Blackstone and Lion Capital, the equity firms said yesterday.

In a joint press release Blackstone Group of the United States and London-based Lion Capital said they would now evaluate the proposal, without setting a timetable or revealing the size of the offer.

Japanese news reports have talked about a deal worth around 250 billion yen (US$2.7 billion).

Orangina was acquired in 2006 by Blackstone and Lion Capital as part of a 1.85 billion euro deal - worth US$2.19 billion at that time - for Cadbury Schweppes Plc's European soft drink business.

Japanese brewer Suntory is already in negotiations to merge with main domestic rival Kirin Holdings Co, which would create one of the world's largest food and drink companies. With the local market largely saturated, Japanese drink makers are looking to expand overseas.


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