The owners of Orangina Schweppes Group have confirmed that talks have opened with Suntory Holdings over a possible purchase transaction.

Reports earlier today (10 September) claimed that Japan's Suntory Holdings is in talks to acquire the Orangina drinks brand from private equity groups Lion Capital and Blackstone.

The two private equity companies confirmed the reports a little later in the day.

"No agreement has been reached to date," the brief statement concluded.

Blackstone and Lion Capital acquired Orangina following a deal to buy the European beverages arm of Cadbury Schweppes in 2005 for EUR1.85bn (US$2.17bn).

Analysts said at the time that the private equity firms would likely not keep the business for the long-term and may work on an exit strategy of around five years.

Suntory is already in merger talks with Japanese rival Kirin Holdings.