AB InBev-SABMiller deal leaves Japanese rivals flat

Assuming the acquisition is approved, Kirin Holdings will be dethroned as the top seller in Australia. Kirin, owner of local brewer Lion, has a licensing agreement with AB InBev under which its sells popular brands, including Corona. The rights to those brands in Australia is likely to go to an SABMiller unit once the deal is complete.

Lion is Kirin's cash cow, generating over 60 billion yen ($593 million) in profit in 2015, half the group's total. Lion's strong earnings last year helped offset weak performance in Brazil.

A Kirin executive downplayed the impact of the merger, pointing out that the Japanese brewer will receive compensation for the cancellation of the licensing deal. But Kirin's loss of market share in Australia will nevertheless be a blow.

Meanwhile, Asahi has agreed to buy venerable European beer brands Peroni and Grolsch from AB InBev for more than 300 billion yen. A senior Asahi executive calls it a good purchase, but it is undoubtedly a risky bet for the company, which earns only 20% of its sales overseas.

The original news is here: http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Deals/AB-InBev-SABMiller-deal-leaves-Jap...