Japan's Asahi Group expected to table $3.41-bn bid for two SABMiller brands

Japanese beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd is expected to table a bid as early as next week to buy SABMiller's European beer brands Grolsch and Peroni for around $3.41 billion, Japanese daily Yomiuri reported.

A concluded deal would be the biggest overseas beverage acquisition ever by a Japanese company, overtaking the 2009 purchase of Australia's Lion Nathan from Kirin Holdings Co for $3.3 billion, the paper said.

Other interested in SABMiller's brands include KKR & Co, Mahou-San Miguil Group and Cinven, Bloomberg had reported in December.

Anheuser Busch InBev SA has been seeking potential buyers for Grolsch and Peroni in order to get European regulatory approval for its proposed acquisition of arch rival SABMiller for around $104 billion. (See: Anheuser-Busch InBev raises informal offer for SABMiller to £43.5 per share)

Anheuser Busch InBev, which owns Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona, has already struck a deal to sell SABMiller's 58-per cent stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors for $12 billion in order to allay competition concerns in the US and will be forced to sell its market-leading Snow brand in China.

Dutch Grolsch beer was founded in 1615 while Italy's Peroni has been produced since 1846, according to SABMiller's website.

The combined value for Peroni and Grolsch is around €1.8 billion ($2 billion), based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of €120 million to €150 million.