Japan's Suntory Holdings is in talks to acquire the Orangina drinks brand from private equity groups Lion Capital and Blackstone, according to reports.

Suntory may pay more than US$2.6bn to acquire Orangina, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Suntory could not be reached to comment on the matter.

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.