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Japanese brewer Asahi ready to spend "billions of dollars" on acquisitions

[TOKYO] Asahi Group Holdings Ltd is ready to spend "billions of dollars" more on acquisitions, after having recently spent US$11 billion to acquire beer brands across Europe from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, a top company executive said.

Akiyoshi Koji, president of the largest beer maker in Japan, did not give any further details on how much Asahi was looking to spend on acquisitions.

"If there are big investment opportunities, we can make big investments," he told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

On possible targets, he said "bolt-on" acquisitions to boost the company's European businesses, including beer makers and distributors, were a high priority. He did not give names.

In Asia, global beer companies are closely watching Vietnam's plan to sell a majority stake in beer makers Sabeco and Habeco.

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Mr Koji said Asahi has been studying Sabeco but declined to comment further: "As a growth market, Vietnam is attractive, but our judgement will be based on whether the market fits our premium beer strategy."


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