Japanese brewer Kirin on Wednesday defended the legality of its $2.65 billion deal to buy a majority stake in Brazil's Schincariol, amid opposition from the family of the company founder.
Tokyo-based Kirin on Tuesday said it would buy Aleadri-Schinni Participacoes e Representacoes S.A., which holds a 50.45-percent stake in Schincariol, as it seeks a foothold in the expanding Brazil market.
The deal means the Japanese company now has all of the shares once held by Adriano and Alexandre Schincariol, the sons of Nelson Schincariol, the company founder who died in 2003.
But their cousins Gilberto, Jose Augusto and Daniela Schincariol -- the minority shareholders with 49.55 percent of the company -- on Tuesday contested the sale, calling it illegitimate and saying they would take it to court.
In a statement, they said they "do not recognize the legitimacy of any transfer of shares to third parties."
They added that according to company bylaws, any sale of shares cannot be offered to an outside party unless they are first offered to other shareholders.
Kirin on Wednesday said in a statement that it recognised the opposition from the minority shareholders but that it had proceeded through consultation with a local attorney.
"We believe there is no problem as to the legitimacy and validity of the transaction, which has been prepared upon consultation with a local lawyer. Kirin will continue to deal with the matter appropriately."