Japan’s Suntory plans tie-up with Korea’s OB: report

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd (SUNTH.UL: ) will soon announce a tie-up with Oriental Brewery Co (INTBB.UL: ) to enter the South Korean market, in its first partnership with a major foreign brewer to expand overseas, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Nikkei business daily said the two unlisted companies would announce the deal as early as Monday, without citing its sources.

Oriental Brewery, South Korea’s second-biggest brewery with a share of more than 40 percent, is majority owned by U.S. investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR.UL: ).

Under the partnership, Suntory will begin exporting one of its flagship products, Premium Malt’s, which Oriental Brewery would market to restaurants in around 30 cities, the Nikkei said.

They plan to sell the beer directly to consumers from spring, and Suntory aims to raise its annual beer sales in South Korea to 600,000 cases, worth around 4 billion yen ($48.5 million), within several years, the paper said.

Officials at Suntory could not immediately be reached.

Japanese brewers including Kirin Holdings Co (2503.T: ) and Sapporo Holdings (2501.T: ) have been aggressively expanding abroad, including through acquisitions, to reduce their dependence on the shrinking domestic market.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Ron Popeski)

Japan’s Suntory plans tie-up with Korea’s OB: report