Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings has agreed to buy SABMiller’s Grolsch and Peroni brands ahead of SABMiller’s megabrew deal with AB InBev.
The acquisition is likely to set Japan’s biggest brewer back over 400bn yen (£2.4bn), according to the Nikkei business daily who first reported the deal, making it the biggest overseas buyout in history for a Japanese beermaker.
Rumours that Asahi was mulling over a bid were reported in January, alongside other potential suitors like Heineken or C&C Group.
Asahi has 38 per cent of the Japanese market, but not much presence outside. By taking over the Grolsch and Peroni brands, it’s hoping to fuel its international growth.
SABMiller has been looking to offload the European beer brands to ease regulatory scrutiny over AB InBev’s £71bn takeover of the FTSE-listed brewer, agreed in November.
The massive deal, which will create the world’s biggest brewer by far, has yet to meet regulatory approval, and competition concerns are expected to pose a hurdle.
SABMiller has already offloaded its stake in the MillerCoors brand to co-owner Molson Coors. Now that Peroni and Grolsch will be handed over to Asahi, the brewer has come another step closer to getting the so-called “megabrew” deal approved.