Asahi is chasing the "maximum recovery of losses" over its Independent Liquor buy

Asahi is chasing the "maximum recovery of losses" over its Independent Liquor buy

Asahi Group has filed a lawsuit accusing the previous owners of its Independent Liquor division in New Zealand with “misleading and deceptive conduct” related to the sale price.

The Japanese firm, which bought RTD producer Independent in September 2011 from Pacific Equity Partners and Unitas Capital for NZD1.5bn, is seeking “maximum recovery of losses” after claiming that the two private equity firms falsely represented Independent's financial position. Pacific Equity and Unitas have denied the charges.

Asahi claimed this week that Independent's EBITDA had been inflated. Atsushi Katsuki, managing director of Asahi Holdings Australia, said the company had relied on the financial figures it was provided with during the sales process.

Pacific Equity and Unitas believe, however, that three months of due diligence before the sale made every detail available to Asahi's financial advisers.

The case is scheduled to be heard at the Federal Court in Victoria on 8 March.