Asahi acquired Independent Liquor in 2011

Asahi acquired Independent Liquor in 2011

Asahi Group's Australian unit has written down the value of its alcohol business, Independent Liquor, by AUD464m (US$440m), according to reports.

The Japanese group also reported a total loss from its Australian business of AUD474.2m for the year to December 2012, compared with a AUD77m loss in the prior year, the New Zealand Herald has reported. Sales rose, however, to AUD1.5bn from AUD976.4m the prior year. 

Asahi paid NZD1.53bn (US1.19bn) for Auckland-based Independent Liquor, one of Australia and New Zealand's leading alcoholic beverage firms, in October 2011.

However, the deal has since come under legal scrutiny. In February this year Asahi filed a lawsuit against Independent Liquors' previous owners, Pacific Equity Partners and Unitas Capital, over allegations of  “misleading and deceptive conduct” related to the sale price.

Earlier this month, Asahi saw Justice Christopher Jessup uphold the private equity firms' claim that several thousand documents produced by lawyers and accountants were privileged, ruling that the Japanese group would not be allowed to access them for its claim, it was reported.