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Suntory plans share sale to fund M&A drive?

By Ben Bouckley , 12-Dec-2012

Multinational Suntory Holdings plans to sell shares in its non-alcoholic drinks business to fund a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) drive, according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg.

An initial public offering (IPO) may happen in 2013 but could be announced as soon as next week, the news outlet said – citing a Nikkei report that Suntory aimed to raise 500bn yen (around $6.1bn) by selling the shares and listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Glossing the rationale for an IPO further, Bloomberg said that Suntory was keen to target overseas deals to offset sluggish demand within Japan, where the population is declining.

News of a possible IPO is sure to raise eyebrows given talk this week that Suntory could team up with UK firm Diageo to fund an eye-watering $10bn+ deal for US bourbon specialist Beam Inc.

Suntory said in a website statement: "Today certain news agencies have reported on matters regarding the initial public offering of Suntory Beverage & Food Limited.

"These reports are not based on any official announcements by Suntory Group. No facts relating to the matter have been confirmed at this point."

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