Carlyle, Nomura Weigh Joint Bid for Orion Breweries

(Bloomberg) -- Carlyle Group LP and Nomura Holdings Inc. are considering a joint bid for Orion Breweries Ltd., a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Carlyle, the U.S. private equity firm, and Nomura would focus on expanding Orion’s distribution network if they complete a deal, said the person, asking not to be identified. For Nomura, it would be the first transaction under a 100 billion yen ($913 million) merchant banking fund set up with its own capital a year ago, according to the person.

Nikkei Business reported earlier Friday that Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., which holds 10 percent of Orion, would remain a shareholder, while other owners including the company’s founders would be bought out. Carlyle and Nomura said in statements that they weren’t the source of the report.

Orion is always considering ways to increase the value of its business and nothing has been decided at this point, Hiroshi Kameda, a director, said by phone. A representative for Asahi declined to comment.

Orion, Japan’s fifth-largest beer maker, has a distribution arrangement with Asahi to sell its products in the country’s main islands.

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