JAPAN: Kirin Holdings, Suntory talks break down

By | 8 February 2010

Kirin walks out on Suntory

Kirin walks out on Suntory

Kirin Holdings has ended merger talks with Japan-based drinks rival Suntory.

Kirin said today (08 February) that disagreement over the running of the merged entity was the reason for it "terminating" talks.

"Kirin had been negotiating on the premise that the new entity would be managed as a listed company in order to ensure appropriate management independence and transparency," said Kirin. "However, it became apparent that Suntory held a different view on this matter," the firm added.

"Kirin determined that even if negotiations were to continue, they were unlikely to result in the establishment of a company that would fulfill Kirin's aim of developing as a leading global company and earn the understanding and approval of Kirin's domestic and overseas customers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders," said the group.

The two companies announced that they were in merger talks in July 2009, but progress appears to have been slow in the period since then, with speculation that neither could agree on ownership of a merged entity.

A merger would have created Japan's leading drinks company and could have been a stronger force in foreign markets.

Suntory claimed today that it, not Kirin, terminated talks.

It said: "Suntory determined to terminate the negotiation because, while Suntory studies what the integrated new company should be, Suntory acknowledged discrepancy of understandings of two companies including integration ratio and considered that it would be difficult to realise a desirable new integrated company which Suntory had been seeking for."

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Sectors: Beer & cider, Spirits

Companies: Kirin, Suntory

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