Suntory in Talks to Invest in Indian Distiller
TOKYO, March 6 (Kyodo) — Japanese beverage company Suntory Holdings Ltd. is in talks to invest in major Indian liquor manufacturer Radico Khaitan Ltd., seeking to accelerate its expansion in the growing Asian market, Suntory sources said Thursday.
Suntory is mulling acquiring over a 20 percent stake in a liqueur company to be set up by Radico, the sources said. The value of the investment could be around 10 billion yen, they said.
New Delhi-based Radico makes distilled liquor including whisky and gin. The company signed a sales contract with the Japanese company in 2011 and sells Suntory's high-grade Hibiki whisky targeted at wealthy consumers in India.
With the new investment, Suntory aims to team up with the local firm to cultivate the Indian distilled liquor market, which has been growing in line with the expanding population.
The move comes as Suntory enhances its merger and acquisition strategy overseas. In January, the company announced it will acquire U.S. distiller Beam Inc.  for about $16 billion.