(Repeats to attach to additional headline)
TOKYO May 8 Asahi Group Holdings said
on Tuesday it would buy Japanese soft drinks maker Calpis Co for
120 billion yen ($1.5 billion) as the brewer works to lift its
non-alcoholic beverage profits to help offset a shrinking
domestic beer market.
Asahi's plan to buy Calpis from seasonings maker Ajinomoto
Co was first flagged to the market last month in
reports by Reuters and other media.
Meanwhile, Ajinomoto said it would buy back up to 7.39
percent of its outstanding shares, worth 50 billion yen.
($1 = 79.92 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Miki Kayaoka and Shinichi Saoshiro; Writing by
James Topham; Editing by Joseph Radford)