JAPAN: Analysts quell Asahi, Sapporo merger rumours
A CSLA Japan analyst told just-drinks today (28 July), following a conversation with Asahi representatives, that the group "would not be in a rush to chase any type of merger or acquisition of Sapporo".
He said: "Asahi sees a potential merger between Kirin and Suntory as a positive for the entire market, with less competition in both the beer and soft drink segments seen as particularly positive."
He added: "We see the potential Kirin/Suntory merger as being positive for the entire industry, including Asahi, even in its current form."
"Lion Nathan and Foster's have prospered over the past ten years in a similar duopoly situation, and we see similar prospects in Japan."
Destocking and economic turmoil aside, 2009 must surely be the year when Japan's latent drinks giants seized their chance to make themselves heard on the international scene....
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