By Ian Neubauer
Fremantle brewer Little World Beverages (LWB) has been ousted as the next potential takeover target for Kirin Holdings as the Japanese conglomerate solidifies its position in the Australian beverage sector.
LWB shares have seen alternative gains and falls of 3 to 4 per cent over the past week.
The movement was caused by investors speculating that the $86-million boutique brewer represents the equivalent of an attractive after-dinner mint for Kirin following its $3.3 billion offer for the 54 per cent of Lion stock it does not already own.
Forty per cent of LWB shares are already owned by Lion, which in principal are now owned by Kirin.
Kirin could not be contacted today (Apr 30) because of the onset of a weeklong holiday season in Japan. The company has released no information regarding its intentions in the matter on its corporate website.
But LWB executive director Howard Cearns shrugged off speculation of a takeover. “We’re not sensing any change in the way we’re viewed,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
LWB shares were trafding at $1.50 at 9:00am today (Apr 29) comapred to $1.40 seven days ago.