Japanese beverage maker Suntory Holdings Ltd. has made an offer to buy Orangina Schweppes from Blackstone Group LP and Lion Capital Holdings Inc., Blackstone said yesterday.
Although the companies did not reveal the offer amount, analysts say the deal will be about 2.6 billion euros ($3.8 billion).
Blackstone, the largest private-equity firm, and Lion Capital said they would decide on a response after consulting workers at Paris-based Orangina.
Orangina's other popular brands include Oasis fruit beverages.
There were earlier reports that the deal will be in the range of 1.85 billion euros, which Blackstone and Lion paid to Cadbury in 2005 to buy Orangina (See: Japan's Suntory in talks to buy French rival Orangina).
The Osaka-based Suntory is the third larger beverage maker in Japan, after Kirin Holdings and Asahi.
Suntory said in July that it is in talks to merge with Japan's biggest maker Kirin Holdings Co into one of the world's largest beverage makers.
Orangina, created by Beton in 1951, joined the Pernod-Ricard group in 1984. In 2001, a share of the Orangina brand was acquired by a subsidiary of Cadbury Plc. France blocked Coca-Cola Co. from acquiring Orangina from Pernod Ricard in 1998.
Since February 2006, Orangina is owned by a consortium acting on behalf of funds managed by Blackstone Group and Lion Capital, who bought the brand from Cadbury.
According to reports, Japanese beverage makers have entered into overseas deals worth $8.1 billion in the past 20 months.
Rothschild, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Blackstone Corporate Advisory, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. are advising Blackstone and Lion Capital.
Suntory was advised by Bank of America-Merryll Lynch.