Suntory Holdings has spoken out after reports claim that it plans to raise up to US$6bn by selling shares in its soft drinks and food business.

The Osaka-headquartered group did not deny the reports, but said in a statement today (12 December) that "no facts relating to the matter" are yet confirmed. "These reports are not based on any official announcements by Suntory Group," the company said.

The Nikkei Report first revealed yesterday that the group is planning an initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by next summer. It said the proceeds raised will go towards overseas acquisitions. Suntory Holdings, which owns 100% of Suntory Beverage & Food, is still expected to retain a majority stake after the listing, the paper reported.

Earlier this year, Suntory held talks with Diageo about a possible takeover of Beam Inc, according to a press report last weekend. Both Diageo and Beam declined to comment on the reports, when contacted by just-drinks.