By Andrew Starke

Asahi Breweries, Japan’s second largest brewer, has signalled its intention to be a significant player in the Australian beverage market by acquiring fruit juice company P&N Beverages Australia.

P&N Beverages is Australia's third-biggest beverage maker by volume, and the fourth biggest by value.

The $364 million deal coupled with Asahi’s acquisition of Schweppes Australia for $962 million in April 2009 will create Australia’s second biggest soft drinks producer.

The biggest player is Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA), which accounts for about half of the local non-alcoholic beverages market.

P&N Beverages is best known for soft drinks brands like Pub Squash, LA Ice Cola, Frantelle spring water and Waterfords mineral water.

It also supplies a number of grocery and supermarket chains with private-label or home-brand drinks.

“Asahi will drive growth of the existing businesses as well as expand its overseas investment activities for further synergies,” said the company in a statement.

“Through the acquisition of P&N, Asahi Group aims to enhance its position within the Australian beverage market. Integration of Schweppes and P&N will enable both to take advantages of the integrated portfolio and efficiencies deriving from the combined supply chain system.”

“This acquisition will deliver significant growth opportunities and synergies within the Australian and overseas soft drinks businesses of Asahi Group.”

The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board and is expected to be completed by the end of November 2010 if given the green light.


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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