TOKYO Japanese beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd (2502.T) will submit a bid as early as next week to buy SABMiller PLC's (SAB.L) Grolsch and Peroni beer brands for as much as 400 billion yen ($3.41 billion), the daily Yomiuri reported.
If accepted, it would be the biggest overseas beverage acquisition ever by a Japanese company, topping Kirin Holdings Co Ltd's (2503.T) $3.3 billion takeover of Australia's Lion Nathan in 2009, the paper said.
Asahi Holdings officials could not be reached for comment.
Anheuser Busch InBev SA (ABI.BR), which agreed to buy SABMiller for $100 billion plus, has been seeking potential bidders to buy Grolsch and Peroni, sources close to the process told Reuters last month.
Peroni and Grolsch are small, premium brands and AB InBev wants to avoid getting bogged down in regulatory scrutiny over a European portfolio that already includes Corona and Stella Artois, the sources said.
Indicative offers are due in mid-January, with a tight schedule for due diligence in order to clinch a deal by early March, the sources said.
The sources had estimated a potential combined value for Peroni and Grolsch of about 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion), based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 120 million to 150 million euros and a possible multiple of around 12 times EBITDA.
(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Edmund Klamann)