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Heineken strikes £2.3bn deal to expand in China

The brewer is taking a 40% stake in China Resources Beer, which controls the country’s biggest beer maker.

Dutch brewing company Heineken has said it is buying a 40% stake in the company that controls China’s biggest beer maker, China Resources Beer (CRB).

Heineken said it would invest 3.1 billion dollars (£2.37 billion) in the venture as it seeks to expand in the world’s biggest beer market.

It said Chinese drinkers are embracing imported beers and that CRB, producer of the best-selling Snow lager, lacks a premium overseas brand.

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The brewer is aiming to keep pace with Anheuser-Busch InBev (Heineken/PA)

The stake in CRB would significantly boost Heineken’s distribution reach.

Heineken is trying to keep pace with Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewing company, which in 2016 added to its heft by taking over its closest rival, SABMiller.

AB InBev is worth 174 billion euro (£154 billion), multiple times Heineken’s 51 billion euro (£45 billion).

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