Japanese drinks group Kirin Holdings has struck a deal to take full control of Australian affiliate Lion Nathan for about $A3.


3 billion, the companies said.

Kirin, which already owns 46.13 percent of Sydney-based Lion Nathan, said it had agreed to acquire the remainder of the shares to turn it into a wholly owned subsidiary and expand its overseas operations.

The purchase, which will cost Kirin 3.3 billion Australian dollars, values the entire company at 6.5 billion Australian dollars, the companies said.

The move “is a logical step in achieving our long-term growth strategy of becoming a leading company in the areas of beverages, food and health across Asia and Oceania,” Kirin\’s president, Kazuyasu Kato, said in a statement.

Lion Nathan\’s independent directors are recommending the deal to shareholders.

Kirin first bought into Lion Nathan in 1998.

The Japanese company, which also owns Dairy Farmers and National Foods, has been in talks for weeks to take over Lion Nathan, Australia\’s second largest brewer with labels including Tooheys, XXXX, Heineken and Hahn.

Lion Nathan said it would be an integral part of Kirin\’s regional growth strategy and the deal would provide employment opportunities for existing management across the group.

“We believe that this is a very attractive outcome for Lion Nathan\’s non-Kirin shareholders,” chairman Geoff Ricketts said.

“It is a compelling offer at a significant premium to Lion Nathan\’s share price.” Lion Nathan shares, which had been in a trading halt prior to Thursday\’s takeover offer, rose 40.7 percent to 11.69 dollars after the deal was announced Monday.

Japan\’s beverage giants are looking beyond their traditional markets for opportunities to grow their business in the face of a shrinking Japanese population.

In February, Kirin Holdings said it had struck a deal to pay about 1.2 billion US dollars for a 43.25 percent stake in San Miguel\’s brewing business in the Philippines.

It later launched an offer for the remaining shares.