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Asahi re-examines Independent Liquor takeover

25 May 2012

Japanese liquor giant Asahi has admitted it is re-examining the NZ$1.5bn ($1.2bn) it paid for Independent Liquor, the Kiwi drinks company it bought from Pacific Equity Partners and Unitas last year.

“We felt there was a gap between the price that we paid and the actual value of the company…We are in the process of verifying the price,” the Financial Times cited a representative of Asahi as saying.

The company said there were differences in understanding between it and the sellers related to the value of the assets on the balance sheet, the report added.

The Japanese company is said to be considering some form of monetary compensation from the former owners of ILG, which makes alcoholic drinks in Australia and NZ with a core business of ready to drink products that have taken off in Asia, Europe and North America.

The deal represented Asahi’s largest acquisition yet, and marks a recent trend for Japanese brewers looking to expand in overseas markets given the current strength of the yen.

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