The Jinro saga

Hite signs definitive contract to buy Jinro for $3.3 billion. But why is this soju-maker acquisition so symbolic for Korea inc?

Hite has taken its acquisition of Jinro to the next stage by signing a definitive contract on Friday to purchase the soju maker for W3.41 trillion $3.31 billion. Hite, which has just completed a month of due diligence on Jinro, won a competitive auction. Its final acquisition price is W300 billion more than earlier rumours that it bid W3.1 trillion - beating out Japanese bidders as well as some local rivals in what was a highly competitive auction organized by Merrill Lynch.

From the perspective of Korea inc, Hite's victory was the best possible outcome. Jinro remains in Korean hands, and the marriage of beer and soju is highly synergistic....

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