Asahi raises bet on Europe with $280m investment in Hungary brewer

TOKYO — Japan’s Asahi Group Holdings is spending heavily to build a European presence as its home market shrinks, following up a Rugby World Cup sponsorship with a 100 billion forint ($280 million) investment in Hungarian unit Dreher Breweries.

Dreher, which marks its 170th anniversary this year, was one of five Eastern European breweries Asahi acquired in 2017 from Anheuser-Busch InBev for 7.3 billion euros ($7.9 billion at current rates). It is Hungary’s top beer company, holding around 30% of the market, with brands including its eponymous mainstay Dreher and the nonalcoholic Dreher 24.

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