Asahi, a Japanese brewer responsible for many a great binge drinking night for myself back in the1990s, has confirmed it will purchase softdrink manufacturer Aijinomoto Co.'s Calpis brand for Cdn/US $1.5 billion (~¥120 billion) which will make it the #3non-alcoholic beverage maker in the Japan.
With your author no longer residing in Japan, and combined with a crippled Japanese economy, the brewer was searching for ways to supplement its revenue.
Enter the Calpis.
Calpis is a milky-drink that is supposedly popular with young kids. Calpis (カルピス Karupisu ) is a uncarbonated beverage with a milky, acidic flavor that makes it taste like (my opinion) spoiled plan yogurt. Its ingredients are: water, non-fat dry milk (I think that means powdered) (yes, it does!) and lactic acid, and is supposedly produced by lactic acid fermentation - which is the way one might make yogurt, if you wanted to make yogurt.
The Calpis brand is also available in a pre-diluted drink called Calpis Water (you can't dilute enough for my liking), as well as a carbonated version called Calpis Soda (this was also just wrong).
I've had all three Calpis brands, and I'm a big kid and like sweet stuff, but there's a reason why I call Calpis: cow-piss. It's awful, in my opinion. Of course, that's just me, and despite me not liking Calpis, the beverage manufacturer still managed to grow the company.
Of course, if you've been following the news - I haven't - but this new $1.5 billion deal comes on the heels of a total of $3.7 billion in deals for Asahi over the past five years.
In case you forgot, Ashai also recently purchased beverage-maker Schweppes' Australian biz, Independent Liquor (a New Zealand company), and China's Tsintao Brewery (a damn fine beer, actually!).
The New Zealand deal was for $1.2 billion - the highest amount Asahi has yet bantered about - not bad considering I had never even heard of Independent Liquor before that last paragraph.
Says Asahi president Izumiya Naoki (surname first): "Calpis is a top dairy product with a bright image as a safe and healthy product and strong brand recognition. We do not have dairy products, so it will be a good compliment to our product portfolio.
"If you have a brand that is number one, or a strong number two, in its category, the strength of that portfolio will allow for growth, even in a tough market."
The deal for the Calpis brand should be completed by October once Asahi raises some borrowing money and stops paying for turd art (see photo below).
|My photo of the Ashai Flame beside the foam-topped Asahi HQ in Tokyo.|
As for Ajinomoto, what to do with $1.5 billion? Perhaps a trip to Hawaii, and maybe buy a new Ferrari? Oh... and get laid. Divorce the wife and then get laid again. At least that is what I would do. But apparently Ajinomoto is looking to use the money to create mergers and acquisitions with seasonings, food and biotech firms. Borrrr-rinnng!
Anyhow... I've slagged the hell out of Cow-piss, I mean Calpiss, I mean Calpis (sorry, I have no idea where the backspace button is!), but it must have a loyal following, and it must be something decent for Asahi to have over-paid for, but it must figure on making its money back in the long-term.
Files compiled by Andrew Joseph