Under the deal, Tokyo-based Kirin will buy the shares at AU$12.22 each, made up of $11.50 in cash and another $0.72 in dividends. The offer values Lion Nathan at $6.5bn on an equity basis, and $8.2bn on an enterprise basis.
“We believe this is a very attractive outcome for Lion Nathan’s non-Kirin shareholders,” Lion Nathan chairman Geoff Ricketts said in the statement. “It’s a compelling offer at a significant premium to Lion Nathan’s share price.”
The move represents another step in Kirin’s ambitions to expand and diversify its global operations. Growth in Japan’s food and beverage sector has been sluggish, with a shrinking population eroding the overall customer base. The company hopes to raise its overseas sales ratio to 30% by 2015.
In February, Lion Nathan scrapped a $7.6bn Kirin-backed bid to take over the Australian unit of The Coca-Cola Company after Coca-Cola rejected the price as too low.
Kirin also announced plans in February to buy a 43% stake in the brewery unit of Philippine food and beverage conglomerate San Miguel Corp.
Source: The Associated Press
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