Asahi buying soft drinks maker Calpis for $1.5 billion

Japanese brewer Asahi is to buy soft drinks group Calpis for about 120 billion yen ($1.5 billion), the largest of a string of deals by the company to offset a declining domestic beer market with new sources of revenue.

Calpis, known for its milky drinks popular with Japanese children, will make Asahi Japan’s No.3 non-alcoholic beverage maker. The deal highlights the pressures in the country’s crowded beverage sector where players are fighting for pieces of a shrinking market.

Asahi and other Japanese brewers such as Kirin Holdings have been on an acquisition spree overseas to combat Japan’s declining population, uncertain economic prospects and deflation.

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Japan’s Asahi to buy New Zealand’s Independent Liquor

Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings has decided to buy Independent Liquor of New Zealand for about 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) as the beverage giant expands in Asia and Oceania, a report said Sunday.

Asahi, known for its popular "Super Dry" beer, will soon announce the deal, which will be its biggest acquisition, the Nikkei business daily said.

Japanese firms have sought to expand in foreign markets as domestic sales suffer from chronically slow consumption by the country’s shrinking and ageing population.

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Japan’s Asahi to focus on digital formats

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun daily said Monday it would cease the English-language print supplement it has published in the International Herald Tribune and instead focus on providing digital content.

In a message to its IHT edition readers, the newspaper said it would expand English-language content now available on electronic readers and smartphones such as Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad and iPhone and the Sony Reader.

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