Kirin Buys Stake In Brazilian Brewer

Kirin bought a controlling stake in Schincariol Group for $2.53 billion in one of the biggest overseas takeover deals by a Japanese company this year.

TOKYO (AP) -- Kirin Holdings Co. said Tuesday it bought a controlling stake in Brazilian brewer Schincariol Group for $2.53 billion in one of the biggest overseas takeover deals by a Japanese company this year.

The purchase is part of the Japanese drinks company's efforts to find new growth overseas to offset a shrinking, aging population at home. Brazil's large beverage market is expected to grow rapidly along with the country's economy.

Kirin's move also highlights an aggressive global shopping spree this year by Japanese companies seeking to benefit from a strong yen, which makes overseas deals more affordable, and abundant cash. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami added to their drive to secure new business outside of Japan.

Data from Dealogic shows that the value of overseas takeovers and acquisitions by Japanese firms so far in 2011 is up 110 percent from a year earlier to $46.7 billion.

Kirin's latest purchase is the third-biggest overseas deal this year and the second-biggest Japanese acquisition in Latin America on record, according to Dealogic. It follows Takeda Pharmaceutical's $13.7 billion purchase of Switzerland's Nycomed and Terumo Corp.'s $2.6 billion takeover of Colorado-based CaridianBCT Holding Corp. earlier this year.

With Schincariol, Kirin gains a foothold into South America's biggest economy, where the beer and soft drink markets are worth an estimated 3 trillion yen ($38.8 billion) each.

Schincariol is the second-largest beer producer in Brazil, known for brands such as Nova Schin, Devassa and Bem Loura. It also ranks third in the country's carbonated soft-drinks market.

It owns 13 factories and a nationwide distribution network in Brazil, Kirin said in a statement.

The acquisition provides Kirin "a solid base in the fast-growing Brazilian market in addition to the existing base in the Asia and Oceana regions," the company said.

The company aims to generate 30 percent of its sales and profits from outside Japan by 2015. In 2009, it bought full control of major Australian brewer Lion Nathan Ltd. and almost half of San Miguel Brewery Inc. of the Philippines.

Under Tuesday's deal worth 3.95 billion Brazilian reals, Kirin acquired all outstanding shares of Aleadri-Schinni Participacoes e Representacoes S.A., which holds 50.45 percent of Schincariol.

Kirin shares fell 0.9 percent to 1,141 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index lost 1.3 percent.

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