Japanese drinks giant Suntory said that a sale of shares in its food-and-beverage unit raised a less-than-expected $3.94 billion, but the IPO is still set to be the biggest on the Tokyo Stock Exchange this year. The share sale comes after Suntory, one of Japan\'s biggest brewers and non-alcoholic drinks makers, embarked on a string of overseas acquisitions as part of its bid to offset a shrinking domestic market. On Monday, Suntory confirmed that about 125 million shares were sold in the privately held company\'s Suntory Beverage & Food unit, an initial public offering valued at 387.5 billion yen based on a sale price of 3,100 yen per share. The pricing was at the low end of a range announced last month. At the time, Suntory said the listing could fetch as much as 475.76 billion yen, or 3,800 yen per share. Tokyo\'s soaring stock market has seen wild volatility since the benchmark Nikkei 225 index hit a five-year high in late May, which may have impacted investor interest in the offering. Shares of the unit, which produces non-alcoholic beverages including soft drinks and bottled tea, would be listed on Japan\'s premier bourse on July 3. The division\'s sales last year totalled 992.1 billion yen, or more than half of the Suntory group\'s 1.85 trillion yen in revenue. Suntory Holdings and its alcoholic beverage unit would remain privately held, according to earlier reports. The company\'s founding family, which established the firm in 1899, retains a stake of nearly 90 percent in Osaka-based Suntory Holdings. The parent company has long been known for its whiskey and beer offerings, but it has been expanding into the food and beverage sector. Three years ago, Suntory scrapped plans to merge with Japanese beverage giant Kirin to create one of the world\'s largest beer and soft-drink companies. The proposed merger fell apart in 2010 with Kirin, Japan\'s top brewer, saying the two firms disagreed over whether the merged company would be publicly listed, while Suntory cited discord over how control would be split between the long-time rivals. In Japan, Suntory is well known for print advertisements and television commercials starring the likes of American actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tommy Lee Jones. When the listing was first announced, Suntory\'s food and beverage unit said some of the IPO proceeds would be used to pay off short-term bank loans. \"As for the rest, we plan to allocate it for strategic domestic and international investments aimed at growing the company,\" it said at the time. The listing \"should help the firm\'s business expansion and boost its value by letting it make decisions quickly in the fast-changing global beverage market,\" Suntory said in a statement last month. The spin-off would make the unit a \"self-sustaining global company\", Suntory said, adding that it would respect \"the independence of the company and its ability to manage itself\". Major Japanese beverage makers have aggressively sought to expand abroad in recent years to offset their shrinking domestic market, while a strong yen made the foreign shopping spree relatively cheaper. Suntory said last year it would form a joint venture with Chinese brewer Tsingtao to expand its reach in the world\'s biggest beer market. It has also said it would acquire a 51-percent stake in Indian food and drink maker Narang Group and set up a joint venture. In 2009 it bought Europe\'s Orangina Schweppes Group for about $3.3 billion.