[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 10:20 GMT
SAB Miller buys Chinese brewery
Snow Beer
The Chinese beer market is the biggest in the world
SAB Miller has taken another step towards dominating the world's biggest beer market, China.

SAB Miller operates in China through its 49% stake in joint venture China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow).

CR Snow now plans to pay $320m (165m) to buy Blue Sword, which owns breweries in Sichuan and Guizhou provinces in the south-west of China.

SAB Miller, the world's second-largest brewer, is number one in China in terms of sales volume and brewing capacity.

Andre Parker, managing director of SAB Miller Africa and Asia, said the purchase demonstrated CR Snow's commitment to invest in prominent local brands.

Last year, the pair bought breweries in northern China's Shanxi province and Inner Mongolia.

Brand battle

SAB Miller expects its Chinese beer Snow to become the group's biggest brand in 2006 and one of the world's top four beers.

CR Snow
Established in 1993
Joint venture with SAB in 1994
More than 55 breweries in mainland China
Sales of 39.5m hectolitres in 2005

That would place it behind the US's Budweiser, Brazil's Skol and Mexican beer Corona in the global rankings.

China now accounts for about 18% of London-based SAB Miller's beer volumes, but less than 5% of profits due to much lower margins than in the firm's traditional Western markets.

SAB Miller's main overseas rival in China is Budweiser-owner Anheuser-Busch, which has a 27% stake in Chinese beer brand Tsingtao.

US-based Anheuser-Busch is the world's third-biggest brewer, behind SABMiller and first place InBev, a Belgian-Brazilian business.


SEE ALSO
SABMiller 'top China beer seller'
06 Oct 06 |  Business
SABMiller to buy Colombian brewer
19 Jul 05 |  Business
SABMiller gets new market boost
18 Nov 04 |  Business
Bud firm wins Chinese brewery bid
03 Jun 04 |  Business
China brewery takeover hots up
01 Jun 04 |  Business

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific