InBev gains full ownership of Ningbo brewer

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags China Inbev

Belgian brewer InBev is making further inroads in the Chinese
market, announcing this week that it has bought the remaining 30
per cent of Ningo-based brewer K.K.

The $61.5 million deal will boost InBev's position in the Zhejiang province where it already holds a 50 per cent market share.

The company acquired a 70 per cent stake of the K.K. brewing activities in April 2003. The Chinese firm is said to hold an 80 per cent market share in Ningbo, the second largest harbour in China after Shanghai.

According to Brent Willis, InBev's Asia Pacific president, K.K. brewing is "one of our largest and most profitable operations in China".

InBev focuses on the more affluent South Eastern provinces of China and is now the country's third largest brewer.

It also holds a 24 per cent stake in China's Zhujiang Beer Group, reportedly investing 400m yuan in a new plant in Guangdong province, according to a China Business News report this week.

The newspaper quoted Fang Guiquan, chairman of the company, as saying that the new plant has a designed annual production capacity of 200,000 tons of beer. Investment of the first phase of the new plant stands at 200 mln yuan, with capacity of 100,000 tons, the report said.

Construction will start in October and is expected to finish in June 2006.

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