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Suntory to List Food and Soft Drinks Unit in $6 Billion IPO: Sources

Bottles of Suntory Holdings whisky bottles displayed at the company's distillery.  Suntory Holdings is Japan's third-largest brewer.
Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bottles of Suntory Holdings whisky bottles displayed at the company's distillery. Suntory Holdings is Japan's third-largest brewer.

Japan's Suntory Holdings plans to raise up to $6 billion in an initial public offering of its food and non-alcoholic beverage unit, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

The unit, Suntory Beverage and Food, plans to list in the second half of 2013, raising 400 billion yen to 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion to $6.1 billion), the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement.

The news was first reported by the Nikkei newspaper. The Nikkei said the unlisted food and beverages giant would use the IPO funds for overseas acquisitions.

A company spokeswoman said she was checking on the report.

Suntory Holdings, known in Japan for its Premium Malt's beer, plans to retain a sizeable stake in the unit after the IPO the sources said.

Japanese beverage firms, faced with a highly competitive and shrinking home market, have been looking abroad for growth.

In 2009, Suntory bought soft drinks maker Orangina.

Suntory Beverage and Food, whose businesses include the manufacture of tea and juices and the distribution of PepsiCo Inc beverages in some regions, generated 960 billion yen in sales last year, according to its website.