Johannesburg- and London-listed SABMiller has moved to enhance its position in China's lucrative beer industry with the $864-million acquisition of Kingway Breweries by China Resources Snow Breweries, SABMiller's joint venture with China Resources Enterprise.
"The acquisition of Kingway gives us greater access to high growth and attractive regional markets in China, enhancing CR Snow's competitive position," the managing director of SABMiller Asia Pacific, Ari Mervis, said in a statement last week.
Kingway's brewery business is made up of seven breweries, with four of these in China's fastest growing and most populous region, Guangdong province, on the South China Sea coast.
The remaining three breweries are in Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces in the southwest and northwest of the country respectively and the Tianjin municipality in northern China.
Production capacity of the breweries is 14.5-million hectolitres and in 2011, the business sold 9.3-million hectolitres.
"Kingway is a widely recognised brand and quality asset and enjoys a strong market share with an extensive sales network and established manufacturing infrastructures in China, especially in Guangdong province," said the chairperson of China Resources Enterprise, Chen Lang.
"The transaction not only strengthens our production capacity and economies of scale, but also further optimises the sales network of CR Snow in China.
"This continues to enhance our leading position in China's beer industry," he said.