Asahi has been looking to expand in south-east Asia

Asahi has been looking to expand in south-east Asia

Japanese food and beverage giant Asahi has struck a deal to buy a range of dairy assets in south-east Asia from Singapore-listed Etika International Holdings.

Etika said today (10 April) Asahi would pay US$328.8m for businesses in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Asahi is known for its namesake beer but also operates in spirit-based beverages, soft drinks and food. Its food assets include infant nutrition unit Wakodo.

The Japanese group had been looking to expand its business in south-east Asia and gain a foothold in Malaysia's beverage market.

Asahi said condensed milk was "deeply rooted" in Malaysia's "food culture". Etika sells condensed milk under the Dairy Champ and Goodday brands.

Etika claims to be "one of the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of sweetened condensed milk" and  "a leading player in the regional food and beverage market".

As well as dairy, Etika is involved in the wholesale and distribution of frozen and chilled foods. It manufactures "value-added" frozen food, bakery and confectionery products and is a marketer of sports nutrition and weight management food supplements, manufacturing of tin cans and quick-service restaurants. It has facilities in Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Vietnam.