The Japanese beverage company, Asahi, is pushing through negotiations with an Australian as well as a New Zealand soft drinks deals.
Asahi were initial blocked in a bid for the whole of P&N Beverages, Australia’s third largest soft drinks firm, but have since revised the offer to include only the water and juice business.
At the same time that the P&N Beverages deal is being finalised, Asahi has also revealed plans to buy New Zealand’s juice maker, Charlie’s Group.
Asahi believes the deals will boost the company’s overseas market share by 20-30 percent, with an increase in sales of JPY 2-2.5 trillion (approx AUS$23 billion).
In 2009 Asahi bought Australia’s second larges beverage maker, Schweppes (along with the rights to Pepsi and 7UP). The water and Juice brands of P&N Beverages will be merged with Schweppes, strengthening the latter’s product portfolio.
“Asahi aims to enhance its position within the Australian beverage market by enabling Schweppes to strengthen its product portfolio and gain efficiencies in supply chain management," said the firm.
BeverageDaily.com reported that the Sydney-based analyst John Band suggest Coco-Cola should be concerned that Asahi will become a more “formidable competitor” as a result of the deal.
Although Mr. Band did add that neither deal will have a significant global impact, because Asahi does not own any international brands.
“Its volumes outside Japan come largely from Pepsi and Schweppes brands that it can’t sell outside Australasia. Neither of these deals do much to change that.”
“Asahi’s just ensuring that its Australian business has the same strength that any [second position] drinks player in any market should have, by picking up some local brands in appropriate categories.”
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