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Suntory goes for it with Orangina bid

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ORANGINA/True to its “Yatte Minahare” motto — “Go for it!” in Osaka dialect — Japanese brewer Suntory is sizing up a takeover bid for private-equity owned soft drinks maker Orangina Schweppes.

Although Suntory is already in the midst of a takeover by larger rival Kirin, that hasn’t quenched its thirst for growth as it looks to Orangina for new brands and markets.

But splashing out $2.6 to $3.0 billion — the price range being touted for the somewhat eclectic Orangina drinks cabinet, whose brands include Snapple, Oasis and La Casera — would be pushing Suntory’s mantra to the limit. The mooted price is in line with what current owners Blackstone and private equity partner Lion Capital paid for Orangina three years ago, when the credit boom was in full swing.

Orangina has added some bolt-on deals since but its sales in 2008 –  before the recession fully began to bite  — were some $1.46 billion, so Suntory would be paying more than twice that figure to take the company off the hands of Blackstone and private equity partner Lion Capital.

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