FILE PHOTO: A neon sign for Heineken beer is seen at a bar in Monterrey
INTERNATIONAL - China Resources Beer (CR Beer) is in talks to acquire Heineken’s China business in a deal that could be worth more than $1billion (R11.85bn), as the country’s largest brewer seeks new growth from premium brands, five people close to the discussions said. 

The negotiations come as global beer giants such as Heineken, AB InBev and Carlsberg are facing fierce competition from local rivals and each other in emerging markets. 

China is the world’s largest beer market by volume. CR Beer’s biggest brand, Snow, is the world’s top-selling beer. 

The deal between CR Beer and Heineken would most likely include three breweries - in Guangdong, Hainan and Zhejiang provinces - Heineken’s distribution operation and its brands in China.