Asahi has launched a rival offer to Suntory's bid to acquire the Orangina business from private equity groups Blackstone and Lion Capital, a report has claimed.

Asahi has joined the race for Orangina after the agreed timeframe for exclusive talks between Suntory and the private equity groups came to an end, the Financial Times reported today (11 September).

Blackstone and Lion Capital yesterday confirmed that they were in talks with Asahi's Japanese rival, Suntory, over a sale of the Orangina business.

"No agreement has been reached to date," said the groups, which completed a deal to buy Orangina from Cadbury Schweppes in 2006.