Blog: Dean BestSuntory food and drink arm makes stock exchange debut

Dean Best | 3 July 2013

Shares in Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd started trading in Tokyo today (3 July), with the stock its first day above the offer price.

The company, which owns Asian food business Cerebos Group, as well as major global drinks brands like Schweppes, saw its shares close at JPY3,145. The listing price for the shares, in what financial watchers say is the world's second-largest IPO this year, was JPY3,100.

Suntory Beverage and Food is looking to use the funds raised by the flotation to make acquisitions overseas, a strategy many Japanese firms have followed amid a flat home market.

Suntory Holdings, which keeps a 60% stake in the food and beverage unit, has been one of the Japanese companies to look to international deals for growth. It acquired the Orangina Schweppes business in 2009.

In recent months, Suntory has been linked to the GlaxoSmithKline drinks brands, Lucozade and Ribena, that are up for sale. Last year, it was reported to have held talks with Diageo over a bid for US spirits group Beam.

Suntory Beverage and Food, which does not contain the parent company's beverage alcohol assets, also provided results for the first quarter of 2013, in which sales and profits increased year-on-year. The numbers also included forecasts for higher annual revenue and earnings.

According to The Wall Street Journal, company president Nobuhiro Torii said at a news conference in Tokyo he was "relieved and satisfied" that it exceeded the offering price.

"We believe the speed of our growth will accelerate now that we've firmly secured funds," Mr. Torii said.


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