ACCC gives all clear to Asahi takeover of Schweppes

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 1st April 2009

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced it will not oppose Asahi’s $1.185 billion purchase of Cadbury’s Schweppes business in Australia.

A conditional agreement between the firms was completed on December 24 last year, with a definitive sale announced on March 12, 2009.

Asahi is Japan’s second largest brewer and the deal continues a trend of expansion by Japanese companies into the Australian and New Zealand beverage market as their home market stagnates. Kirin Holdings now owns National Foods and Dairy Farmers as well as holding a major stake in Lion Nathan, while Suntory acquired the NZ-based Frucor.

“The acquisition of Schweppes Australia will strengthen our international soft drinks business, create a new platform of growth in Australia, and enable us to capture synergies the Group,” Asahi advised in a statement in March.

Schweppes is the second largest non-alcoholic ready to drink beverage business in Australia and its portfolio consists of both owned and franchised brands, including Schweppes and Pepsi. It was the last of Cadbury’s beverage businesses to be demerged or sold, with the confectionery giant keen to focus all attention on their chocolate, gum and candy portfolio.