Privately-held Suntory, perhaps best known as a maker of whiskey, is looking to raise $4.7 billion by listing its wholly-owned food and non-alcoholic beverage unit—Suntory Beverage & Food—on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The IPO is planned for July 3.
Mori Hamada Tokyo partners Toru Ishiguro and Taro Omoto are acting as Japanese counsel to the issuer, while Simpson Thacher Tokyo partner Alan Cannon is advising on U.S. law issues.
Suntory is planning to sell up to 40 percent of the equity in its food and beverage unit, with proceeds from the offering to be used to finance overseas acquisitions. Like all Japanese consumer goods companies, Suntory faces a thinning domestic customer base as the country’s population continues to age.
Apart from making alcoholic beverages, Suntory bottles and distributes PepsiCo Inc. beverages in Japan. It also owns French soft drink company Orangina Schweppes Group and New Zealand’s Frucor Beverages Group Ltd. In 2009, Suntory had explored a merger with Japanese beer maker Kirin Holdings that would have created a beverage company with combined revenue of over $40 billion, but talks broke down in early 2010.