Page last updated at 14:15 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Japan's Suntory snaps up Orangina

An Orangina bottle
Orangina Schweppes brands include Oasis, Pulco and Trina

The European drinks firm Orangina Schweppes has been sold to the Japanese brewer Suntory.

The exact value of the deal was not disclosed, but reports suggest that Suntory made an offer of 2.6bn euros ($3.9bn; £2.3bn) in September.

Orangina was previously owned by the private equity firms Blackstone Group and Lion Capital.

Suntory is looking to expand abroad to counter a slump in its home market. It makes whisky, beer and iced tea.

Suntory already owns France's Chateau Lagrange and Scottish whisky distiller Morrison Bowmore.

In a statement on its website, the firm said the acquisition would provide it with "a solid platform in Europe in the soft drinks business" and was "a further step in Suntory's global expansion strategy".

Hope Lee from Euromonitor said that Japan's ageing population was one of the reasons for expanding abroad because "older people tend to drink less".

Suntory has also been in merger talks with Japanese brewer Kirin since July.

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