Interbrew gulps down another Chinese brewer
21 June 2004
BRUSSELS – Interbrew SA, the Belgian brewing giant whose brands include Stella Artois, Beck’s and Hoegaarden, said Monday that it is expanding its reach in China by purchasing a 70 percent controlling interest in China’s Zhejiang Shilang Brewery Co. Ltd.
The USD 53.2 million deal Intebrew expects to seal this summer, bolsters Interbrew’s existing No. 1 position in China’s Zhejiang province, where it will enjoy a market share approaching 50 percent.
Interbrew already has six breweries and one bottling center in Zhejiang province, where Zhejiang Shilang has a 10 percent market share and 17 breweries.
Its annual production capacity is 10 million hectoliters.
Many of the province’s 47 million inhabitants are already very familiar with Zhejiang’s Red Shiliang brand.
In a statement Monday, Patrice Thys, president of Interbrew Asia Pacific Zone, said Zhejiang province “is a key platform for advancing our strategy of becoming a leading player in China’s beer industry.”
Qiu Jiangsheng, general manager of Zhejiang Shilang, said the transaction should help his company enhance its competitiveness.
Earlier this year, Interbrew acquired the Chinese brewery activities of Malaysia’s Lion Group, providing the Belgian brewer with leading market positions in six provinces. Interbrew entered the Chinese market in 1997 through the acquisition of the Nanjing and Jingling Breweries and has been expanding there ever since.
It bought 24 percent of the Zhujiang Joint Stock Co., China’s fifth largest and most profitable brewer on a per-tonne basis, in 2002.
Founded in 1366, Interbrew today has operations in 21 countries and realized more than EUR 7 billion in net sales last year.
The highly acquisitive company recently joined forces with Brazil’s Companhia de Bebidas das Américas (AmBev), the world’s fifth-larget brewer, to form the world’s largest brewer by volume.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject : Belgian news