The deal is the latest example of how Japanese beverage companies are seeking to quench their thirst for overseas growth as the population in their home market shrinks. "All Japanese beverage companies have been focused on getting growth outside Japan," said Bernstein Research analyst Trevor Stirling.
The deal boosts Suntory's market share in the U.S. to 11 percent from less than 1 percent, according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Mark Swartzberg. The proposed acquisition is also Japan's third-largest announced outbound deal of all time, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Last year, privately held Suntory floated its food and non-alcoholic drinks company, Suntory Beverage & Food, to raise money for overseas acquisitions. Kirin Holdings Co bought control of Brazil's Schincariol for $2.6 billion in 2011, and Asahi Group Holdings took a stake in Chinese brewery Tsingtao in 2009.