Japanese brewing companies Kirin and Suntory are looking at the possibilities of a merger in the face of the economic crisis. If the merger goes ahead, it will create the world's 5th-largest food group.
One analyst said: "If a merger is realised, that would give them the market share to take leadership in pricing and help their soft drinks businesses - a chronic weak spot in a ultra-competitive market. It's a huge positive if they can do it."
The merger will need to be approved by regulators.