Suntory Holdings is reported to be following Sapporo Holdings into South Korea

Suntory Holdings is reported to be following Sapporo Holdings into South Korea

Suntory Holdings is set to follow domestic rival Sapporo Holdings into South Korea, through a tie-up with Oriental Brewery in the country, according to reports.

Local reports over the weekend said that the Japanese brewer will begin importing its beers into South Korea through Oriental Brewery. Distribution should start up early next year.

No-one at Suntory was immediately available to confirm the reports when contacted by just-drinks late yesterday (6 December).

The move is another sign of ongoing attempts by Japan's brewers to look beyond their stagnant domestic market. Last month, Sapporo confirmed that South Korea's Maeil Dairy Industry Co will begin distributing and selling Sapporo's beers in the country.

Suntory has previous experience of looking abroad, having acquired Paris-based Orangina Schweppes late last year. The firm also owns Scotsh whisky producer Morrison Bowmore and half of Austrian premium spirits producer Mozart Distillerie.

Oriental Brewery was acquired by private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co from Anheuser-Busch InBev last year for US$1.8bn.