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Drinks

Japan Brewer Asahi Sets Price For $1.2bn Secondary Offering

By Reuters
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Japan Brewer Asahi Sets Price For $1.2bn Secondary Offering

Major shareholders in Japanese brewer Asahi Group Holdings will sell 177 billion yen (€1.09 billion) in shares in a secondary offering to overseas investors, after setting a price of 5,286 per share, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

The offering represents around 6.6% of Asahi's outstanding shares, according to LSEG data, held by nine Japanese financial institutions including Nomura Holdings and the main lending unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

The price represented a 3.01% discount to Asahi's closing price on Tuesday of 5,450 yen, the filing said.

Japanese companies have in recent years been unwinding cross-shareholdings that had been acquired to cement business ties.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has encouraged this unwinding, to improve Japanese companies' use of capital. Critics of cross-shareholdings say they undermine governance because such shareholders are unlikely to pressure their partners for higher returns.

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Japanese Whisky

Elsewhere, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of whisky making in Japan since the founding of market leader Suntory's first distillery in Yamazaki in 1923.

And at the century mark, there are now more than 100 licensed distilleries in the country - twice as much as 10 years ago - with each one vying to make its mark in a rapidly expanding market.

The cedar fire – which Shizuoka claims is the world's only wood fuelled blaze beneath a whisky still – is one of several novelties these distilleries are using to set themselves apart.

Long viewed as an inferior copycat of Scotch, Japanese single malts and blended whiskies started racking up international awards around 2008, sparking intense global demand that effectively drank the supply dry by around 2015.

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