Japanese beer giant wants to buy Peroni and Grolsch

Asahi

Japanese beer giant Asahi is in talks with SABMiller to buy European beer brands Peroni and Grolsch for $2.9 billion.

SABMiller recently announced it would offload those brands to help gain government approval for its $107 billion takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Beer sales have been flat in Japan and the acquisition would give Asahi a chance to grow outside of its home market.

The Peroni and Grolsch brands have more than 500 years of combined history in Europe, giving Asahi a bit of immediate street cred in the region.

The company could also grab a bigger share of the premium beer market which has been one shining spot of growth in Japan over the last several years.

If approved, Asahi will use its existing distribution channels to deliver the brands to Japanese customers and other potential buyers throughout Asia.

The acquisition, which includes the British craft beer brand Meantime, would also give Asahi a better foothold in the big European and US markets.

SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev have already offloaded $12 billion in business to help appease national and international regulators ahead of their merger.