Suntory Holdings has yet to officially confirm reports it has appointed a new chief executive.

Media outlets including Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported today (24 June) that Suntory has lined up Takeshi Niinami to take over from current chairman & CEO Nobutada Saji in October. Japan's Kyodo news agency quotes Saji, who will will stay on as chairman, as saying that Niinami "has an international outlook, vigor, and an ability to crisscross the world".

Saji reportedly added: "I have big hopes for him."

However, Suntory said in a statement today (24 June) that the reports “are not based on any official announcements”. “No facts relating to the matter have been confirmed at this point,” the statement said.

Niinami is the head of Japanese convenience store chain Lawson and, if confirmed, would be Suntory's first CEO from outside the founding family.

Suntory has been involved in a string of acquisitions in the past year, including the US$16bn purchase of Beam Inc.

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