Japanese brewer Asahi confirmed a billion-dollar deal for AB InBev's Eastern European beer brands and Bayer's mega takeover of Monsanto is one step closer, while Johnson & Johnson backs out of buying a Swiss drug maker. Lidl gains momentum in the US, and some pharmacy stores attract bidders. These stories feature in today's issue. Feel free to share them and have a great day.
Rakuten offers mobile pay Google has launched Android Pay in Japan this week in a tie-up with Tokyo-based e-commerce giant Rakuten. Consumers can now make payments at any of the 470,000 convenience stores, supermarkets and other establishments equipped with contactless readers.
Empty malls in China Retail conditions aren't rosy in brick-and-mortar shops in China. Foot traffic to shopping malls and restaurants declined in November amid a surge in online activity, according to data from search engine Baidu and e-commerce platform JD.com.
Billion-dollar negotiations In the largest purchase of a foreign beer operation by a Japanese brewer, Tokyo-based Asahi Group will buy five eastern European beer brands from AB InBev for EUR 7.3 billion. Meanwhile, another mega deal got unstuck - Johnson & Johnson pulled out of talks to buy Swiss drug company Actelion after the price became too high.
usa & canada
Lidl speeds up The German discounter has acquired more real estate in the US. This time it bought an industrial site in Philadelphia, which could be the location of its first store. Building further momentum, Lidl has started its talent search this week. The first 120-150 stores on the East Coast are expected to open at the end of 2017.
Stores on offer Supermarket operator Kroger is poised to buy some Walgreen and Rite Aid stores that the chains are selling to get their merger approved. Also interested in a number of outlets is pharmacy retailer Fred's, which reported a net loss in Q3 and plans to shut 40 of its underperforming stores.
Bayer gets approval Monsanto shareholders have given the green light to the US$ 66 billion takeover from German multinational Bayer. If regulatory approvals go ahead, the merger would combine two of the world’s largest companies involved in crop protection, crop science and seeds.
in festive spirit
Supporting the less fortunate Britain's Tesco has revealed its customers donated more than 2.8 million meals to people in need during its Neighbourhood Food Collection from 1 to 3 December, and in the US, Sears has partnered with Make-A-Wish Foundation and swapped discounts for donations.