Suntory Beverage & Food (SBF), a subsidiary of Japan-based beverage company Suntory Holdings, has agreed to acquire Lucozade and Ribena soft drinks brands from British pharmaceuticals firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for $2.1bn, as part of its efforts to expand into new markets.

Suntory plans to establish a new wholly owned subsidiary in Europe in order to acquire these businesses and their related business and assets.

The acquisition is part of SBF’s mid-to-long-term plan to achieve revenues of JPY2 trillion ($20bn) in 2020.

SBF is pursuing mergers and acquisitions to further grow its existing business both domestically and internationally.

The company is expanding its presence in emerging markets and strengthening its business platform in order to improve profitability.

In Europe, Suntory is growing its business through the Orangina Schweppes with a focus on France and Spain.

With the latest acquisition in the UK, Suntory will be able to further grow sales and enhance business operations.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The sales network of the acquired GSK’s brands will provide Suntory with a platform in countries where GSK already operates such as Nigeria as well as Malaysia.

Suntory Beverage president Nobuhiro Torii was quoted by Reuters as saying that the acquisition price was acceptable as it represents "an extremely rare opportunity" to acquire such brands and there is scope to achieve cost savings in logistics and procurement.

"Considering synergies and such, this is not at all an expensive purchase. I wouldn’t say it’s cheap, but it’s not expensive. Our management will be tested by how much we can achieve in synergies," Torii added.

Suntory Beverage is well known for its alcoholic drinks such as Yamazaki whiskey and namesake beer and it currently operates Pepsi Bottling Ventures, a US-based company that is engaged in production and distribution of Pepsi brand products.

Headquartered in the UK, GSK is one of the leading pharmaceutical businesses, in addition to health care, vaccines, beverages etc.