Japanese brewer Suntory Holdings, which is in talks to merge with domestic rival Kirin Holdings, said on Friday it will buy a U.S. Pepsi bottler and may consider more such acquisitions.
Like other Japanese beer companies, Suntory is scrambling to expand its overseas businesses to reduce its dependence on a shrinking domestic market. A merger with Kirin would create a global food and beverage giant with sales on par with U.S.-based Kraft.
Suntory recently bought soft drinks maker Orangina Schweppes for $3.9 billion. Kirin has aggressively acquired overseas drinks and food businesses, including a $1.5 billion deal to buy Australia's National Foods and Dairy Farmers.
Suntory, which produces and sells Pepsi products in Japan and owns Pepsi Bottling Ventures in North Carolina, has agreed to buy Conway-Myrtle Beach Inc, a Pepsi bottler with revenue of about $41 million in neighboring South Carolina.
Suntory has also been expanding its U.S. bottling business through Pepsi Bottling Ventures which has bought other local bottlers.
The company did not disclose the terms of the deal but a source said the transaction was estimated at around 10 billion yen ($113 million).