Carlsberg expands into China

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Carlsberg reut


Old brew kettles are pictured at the Carlsberg headquarters in Copenhagen November 5, 2013.

Danish brewer Carlsberg said on Monday it had bought the owner of eight Chinese breweries for 1.4 billion kroner (188 million euros, $258 million) as it continues to grow outside the sluggish markets of western Europe.

“Chongqing Beer Group has informed the Carlsberg Group that it has accepted Carlsberg's offer to acquire 100 percent of Chongqing Beer Group Assets Management,” the Danish company said in a statement.

The Chinese firm primarily sells brands under license from the Chongqing Brewery Company, in which Carlsberg earlier this month raised its holding to 60 percent from 29.7 percent.

The Danish group paid around 2.6 billion kroner to up its stake in the company, which produces its two leading brands, Carlsberg and Tuborg.

“This transaction, following on from our decision to construct two new breweries in China and Myanmar, further reinforces our commitment to Asia, and in particular to China,” chief executive Joergen Buhl Rasmussen said on December 11.

Along with its three bigger rivals -- AB InBev, SABMiller and Heineken -- Carlsberg has been expanding in the fast-growing Asian market.

The Carlsberg Foundation, the group's main owner, said in October it wants to change its charter so that it no longer has to own more than 25 percent of the company, while continuing to hold at least 51 percent of the voting rights.

The move would enable Carlsberg to make acquisitions without its main owner tying up more capital in the group to maintain the size of its shareholding. - AFP

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