Lion’s bid for drinks firm faces hiccups

Brewer Lion Nathan could find it problematic to get Commerce Commission clearance to buy Australasian ready-to-drink giant Independent Liquor, and a high-end price may make a purchase uneconomic, analysts say.

Australian-headquartered Lion has lodged a clearance application with the commission and a public version is expected to be published this week.

The move comes more than two months after Independent was formally put on the block, and Lion has been widely tipped as a potential bidder. Independent, a private company established by the late Michael Erceg, is seen as a potentially good vehicle through which Lion could expand into the Australian RTD (ready to drink) market.

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