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UPDATE 1-Japan's Asahi denies considering Foster's tie-up

(Adds Asahi denial)

MELBOURNE/TOKYO, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Japanese beer maker Asahi Breweries Ltd 2502.T denied on Monday a newspaper report that it was considering a partnership with Foster's Group FGL.AX to enter the Australian alcoholic drinks sector.

The Age newspaper, reporting on the possibility, said Asahi was likely to wait until Foster’s, which already distributes Asahi beer, completes a review of its operations.

The review, expected to be finalised in February, may recommend a demerger of the wine and beer businesses, it said.

If the beer business was spun off, Asahi is believed to be considering a partnership beyond the distribution contract, the article said, without giving a source.

“There is no truth to what has been reported,” Asahi Breweries spokesman Takayuki Tanaka said.

On Wednesday, British confectionery maker Cadbury Plc CBRY.L agreed to sell its Australian beverage business to Asahi for 550 million pounds. [ID:nL0247339]. (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell in MELBOURNE and Chang-Ran Kim in TOKYO; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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