MELBOURNE May 21 Japan's Asahi Group Holdings
may seek compensation for its purchase last year of New
Zealand beverages group Independent Liquor from two private
equity firms and is "asking questions" about the amount it paid,
a newspaper report said on Monday.
Asahi bought the Auckland-based company - which makes and
distributes alcoholic drinks including Vodka Cruiser and
Woodstock Bourbon - from private equity groups Unitas and
Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) for $1.27 billion.
A report in The Age newspaper said Asahi was upset about the
"The industry speculation is Asahi is considering some form
of monetary compensation from the former owners of ILG," the
report said, without citing sources.
Independent Liquor, which was founded in Auckland, New
Zealand in 1987, had NZ$414.4 million in revenue in 2010, but
recorded a loss of NZ$22.7 million.
The newspaper report said Independent Liquor's group chief
executive, Peter Murphy, had left the company and it was now
being run by a local Asahi representative.
Unitas and PEP, Australia's largest buyout firm, bought
Independent Liquor in 2006 for more than $1 billion. Unitas is a
buyout group formerly known as CCMP, which was spun out of JP
PEP could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Richard Pullin)