Japanese takeover of Little Creatures depends on shareholders’ vote

Japanese-owned beverage company, Lion, has made a bid for Perth-based brewer Little World Beverages (LWB), which is now valued at more than $380 million.

LWB owns the Little Creatures and White Rabbit beer brands and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

Little Creatures was created by three brewers in 2000 and last year reported revenue of $70 million.

It’s creators have agreed to the buyout by Lion, a subsidiary of the Japanese-owned Kiri brand, which already has a 36 per cent stake in LWB.

Shareholders are expected to vote on the deal in September, as the bid is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

Less than a year ago, Kiri’s main competitor SABMiller bought Australia’s largest beer brand, Foster’s, amid much controversy.

Traditional beer brands have been struggling for some time now to compete against boutique foreign beers and increasing cider sales.

If successful in its takeover bid, Lion has pledged to maintain the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Image: The famous Little Creatures brewery and cafe in Freemantle, WA.

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