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Japan’s Sapporo to take control of Pokka-source

Japanese brewer Sapporo Holdings (2501.T) will spend about 30 billion yen ($367.6 million) to take majority control of unlisted softdrinks maker Pokka Corp, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Saturday.
Sapporo, the smallest of Japan's four major breweries, bought a 22 percent stake in Pokka in 2009 from Japanese private equity firm Advantage Partners and others.
Sapporo is planning to boost its stake by buying shares from Advantage Partners and food and dairy firm Meiji Holdings (2269.T), said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been made public.
Sapporo decided to obtain a controlling stake in Pokka, best known for its canned coffee drinks, to help bolster its softdrinks businesss, the source said.
Pokka also has a strong distribution network in Southeast Asia. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka and Ritsuko Shimizu; Editing by Nathan Layne)
4 Feb. 2011

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