Japanese Set to Conquer Aussie Beer

I haven’t seen much about this in the blogs or on the beer sites, perhaps because it deals with the other side of the world than that of the authors I mostly read, but just-drinks.com has reported today that the directors of Lion Nathan, the largest brewer in Oz, have formally given the nod to a takeover of the company by the Japanese brewer Kirin.

This hardly comes as a surprise, since the deal has been developing all summer and was cleared by competitions boards in Australia and New Zealand in June and July respectively, but it still marks a notable bit of consolidation in Australasia.

Save for Sapporo`s takeover of Canada’s Sleeman Breweries a while back, the Japanese Big Four – Kirin, Sapporo, Asahi and Suntory – have been pretty quiet on the global takeover front. Could be that this deal, which is set to close as early as next month, will make the first of several forays into this realm.

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