Japan's number one beer producer, Asahi Breweries Ltd, has negotiated to buy the low-alcohol and shochu (distilled liquor) businesses of chemical firm Asahi Kasei Corp, the two companies announced today, for between ¥3bn and ¥4bn (US$22.7-30m). The acquisition will be completed sometime in the current business year, when the production and development operations will be transferred to Asahi Breweries' liquor-making unit.