Copenhagen/Shanghai - Danish brewer Carlsberg upped its stake in China's Chongqing Brewery to 60 percent, strengthening its foothold in the world's largest beer market by volume, and hopes to further increase its holding, the latter said.
Asia has become the main battleground for the top four global brewers - Carlsberg, AB InBev, SABMiller and Heineken - which need the growing middle classes in emerging markets to compensate for sluggish sales in Europe and the United States.
“It was essential for Carlsberg to get the majority stake. It makes it possible to implement its business strategies and increase profitability,” Sydbank analyst Morten Imsgard said.
Carlsberg, which inherited a stake in Chongqing Brewery through its takeover of British brewer Scottish & Newcastle in 2007, raised it in 2010 to become the biggest shareholder in the Chinese company with 29.7 percent.
On Thursday it completed its purchase of an additional 30.3 percent for 2.9 billion yuan ($476 million).