Kirin wins court case to control Brazil beer maker

AP News
Posted: Oct 12, 2011 2:52 AM
Kirin wins court case to control Brazil beer maker

Kirin Holdings Co. said Wednesday that a Sao Paulo court has revoked an injunction blocking the company's $2.5 billion takeover of Brazilian beer producer Schincariol.

The Sao Paulo Appellate Court's ruling, which was announced Tuesday, paves the way for the Japanese beer maker to assume control of Schincariol and gain a valuable foothold in the rapidly growing Brazilian market.

In August, Kirin announced a deal worth 3.95 billion Brazilian reals to buy the 50.45 percent stake owned by brothers Alexandre and Adriano Schincariol.

The decision triggered a high-profile family feud. Minority shareholders _ cousins of the brothers _ opposed the transaction and successfully requested an injunction.

Siblings Gilberto, Daniela and Jose Augusto Schincariol, who own 49.55 percent of the company's shares, argued that Kirin's purchase ignored the rights of first offer and first refusal to which shareholders are entitled.

Kirin, Japan's No. 2 brewer, appealed the decision.

Separately, the trio have also filed a lawsuit with a court in Itu, Sao Paulo seeking to nullify the sale.

"Under the consultation from its Brazilian attorneys, Kirin is proceeding ahead with full faith in the legality and validity of the transaction and does not foresee any problems," the company said in a statement.

The purchase ranks as one of the largest overseas takeovers by a Japanese company this year and is part of Kirin's efforts to find new growth overseas to offset a shrinking population at home.

Kirin aims to generate 30 percent of its sales and profits from outside Japan by 2015.

With Schincariol, Kirin gets access to South America's biggest economy, where the beer and soft drink markets are worth an estimated 3 trillion yen ($38.8 billion) each.

Schincariol is the second-largest beer producer in Brazil, known for brands such as Nova Schin, Devassa and Bem Loura. It also ranks third in the country's carbonated soft-drinks market.


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