Asahi agrees to acquire Schweppes Australia

by Eric Schroeder
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TOKYO — Asahi Breweries, Ltd. has entered a definitive agreement to acquire the Schweppes Beverages business in Australia from Cadbury P.L.C. for approximately £550 million ($754.9 million). The transaction is expected to close in April.

Asahi first announced its intent to acquire the Schweppes Beverages business in December 2008, but a previous agreement granted The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, the right to negotiate until March with Cadbury regarding a potential acquisition of the business. With Coca-Cola’s decision not to pursue the business, Asahi and Cadbury have not entered a binding sale and purchase agreement.

"The acquisition of Schweppes Australia will strengthen our international soft drinks business, create a new platform for growth in Oceania and enable us to capture synergies across the group," Asahi said.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Schweppes Australia has 1,500 employees at 8 manufacturing sites and 11 distribution centers.

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