Japanese beer maker Sapporo Holdings will pay 21.3 billion yen ($260 million) to take majority control of beverage maker Pokka Corp., Reuters reported. Pokka is owned by investors including private equity firm Advantage Partners and food and dairy firm Meiji Holdings. Sapporo will increase its ownership in the company to 85.5%, up from 21.4%, by buying shares from Advantage and Meiji, Reuters said.
(Reuters) – Japanese beer maker Sapporo Holdings said on Thursday it will spend 21.3 billion yen ($260 million) to take majority control of unlisted beverage firm Pokka Corp, as it looks to bolster its soft drinks business.
Sapporo, the smallest of Japan’s four major breweries, said in a statement it would raise its stake in Pokka to 85.5 percent from 21.4 percent, by buying shares from firms including private equity firm Advantage Partners, and food and dairy firm Meiji Holdings.
Japan’s beer market has shrunk by a little over 15 percent in terms of shipment volumes over the past decade, prompting Sapporo and rivals including Kirin Holdings to diversify their revenue streams by expanding into food and other businesses.
They have also been aggressively expanding abroad, including through acquisitions, to reduce their dependence on a shrinking market at home.
Sapporo said it and Pokka would hold a joint news conference at 5:30 p.m. (0830 GMT), attended by Sapporo CEO Takao Murakami and Pokka President & CEO Masatoshi Hori. ($1=82.36 Yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and James Topham; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)