Hostile takeover: First Château Lagrange now Orangina Schweppes

Saturday, 14. November 2009 | 09:21 Uhr | A.WIRTZFELD | WINE COMPANIES
Translator: C.SIEGEL
The Japanese beverage giant Suntory aggressively buys European companies, among them also wineries like Château Lagrange

JAPAN (Tokyo) - The Japanese beverage giant Suntory is taking over the European softdrink-producer Orangina Schweppes. According to a statement by the company this morning in Tokyo, the takeover was now complete. Only recently the cartel authorities had given their yes for the deal. The buying price was not revealed, however, according to insiders in the industry Suntory is said to have bought the company for an equivalent of more than 2.2 billion euro. The investment fund Blackstone and Lion Capital were the old owners. Three years ago they paid about 1.5 billion euro for Orangina.

The Japanese beverage producers are currently working on developing beyond their traditional markets. The drop in population plays a very important role in this. In the past few years Suntory had aggressively taken over European companies, among them the French winery Château Lagrange and the Scottish Whiskey-distiller Morrison Bowmore. Suntory is currently negotiating a merger with its Japanese competitor Kirin. The result would come very close to a beverage giant like Pepsico.

In the course of the booming Asian wine market and considering the future Indian wine market, besides international softdrink-producers, above all wineries will be lined up in Suntory's sights.(afp-aw.yoopress / translator c.siegel)

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