September 1, 2004
Second-biggest brewer to build plant in China
SABMiller PLC, the world’s second-biggest brewer, and its joint venture partner China Resources Enterprise Ltd. are planning to build a brewery at a cost of $82.3 million (U.S.) that will tap the affluent market in southern China.
Construction will begin in November and the new brewery, to be located in Dongguan near Hong Kong, will begin operation in early 2006, China Resources said in a statement.
London-based SABMiller, maker of Miller Lite, holds a 49 per cent stake in China Resources Breweries, which is 51 per cent owned by China Resources.
“After a long period of careful study and analysis of the local market, we believe it is the right time for CRB to enter the affluent southern China region,” Frank Ning, chairman of China Resources Enterprise, said.
“Construction of a new brewery rather than acquisition is the most efficient and effective way to gain access to the market,” he said.
Foreign beer makers have been jostling for position in China, now the world’s biggest beer market and one that is expected to continue expanding as incomes rise.
Earlier this summer, SABMiller lost a bidding war for a north China brewery, Harbin Brewery Group, by its larger rival Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., maker of Budweiser.
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