China Resources Beer Co Ltd, the largest brewer in the country and the maker of the best-selling Snow Beer brand, has signed an agreement with Dutch premium brewer Heineken NV to further develop the high-end beer market in China. Amsterdam-based Heineken, the second-largest brewer worldwide, will acquire 40 percent stake in CR Beer for HK$24.35 billion ($3.1 billion), and Heineken will have greater access to the network of China’s premium beer segments and better understanding of the Chinese market, according to a statement from CR Beer on Friday [3 August 2018]…Full Article: China Daily Aug 2018

Key Points

  • As a result of the agreement, Heineken will license its trademark brand to CR Beer for distribution throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. In addition to Heineken acquiring a 40% share in CR Beer, China Resources Enterprise (parent company of CR Beer) will purchase a 0.9% share (~USD 537.5 million) in Heineken.
  • As of mid-2018, CR Beer accounted for 25.6% of China’s beer market. Heineken in known in China for both its eponymous brand of beer and Tiger beer (see Heineken Asia Pacific).

ChinaAg Comments

  • As of mid-2017, China accounted for 25% of the global beer market’s volume, but only 10% of the market’s global revenue and 3% of its global profit.
  • In March 2016, China Resources announced it would buyout SABMiller’s 49% share in their joint venture, China Resources Snow Breweries, for USD 1.6 billion. The buyout was relatively cheap, with many analysts forecasting a USD 3 billion to USD 5 billion price tag.
  • As of 2015, China Resources Beer had 98 breweries, with “Snow Beer” as its best-selling brand.
  • In December 2015, China Resources began financial inquiries into purchasing SABMiller’s 49% stake in order to allow Anheuser-Busch InBev to secure anti-trust approval in China for the latter’s takeover of SAB Miller.
  • In October 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV agreed to purchase SABMiller for US$104.2 billion.
  • As of early 2015, five breweries had an 80% share of the beer market in China. These include Huarun Snow Beer Co Ltd, Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Beijing Yanjing Brewery, and the Carlsberg Group.
  • In August 2014, Euromonitor International stated that Snow beer (operated by China Resources Enterprises) had a 21.7% market share in China, followed Tsingtao Brewery Co with 15.7%, Beijing Yanjing Brewery with 11.7%, Anheuser-Busch InBev at 11.4%, Henan Jinxing Brewery with 3.4%, and Carlsberg with 2.6%.
  • In February 2013, China Resources agreed to purchase Guangdong’s Kingway Brewery Holdings for HK $6.6 billion (US$851 million).
  • In 1998, China overtook Germany as the number two consumer of beer, and passed the United States as the top consumer in 2002.
  • In July 2011, China Resources Enterprise and its joint-venture partner, SABMiller, purchased two breweries Heineken-Asia Pacific Brewery (APB) for USD 134.4 million. In total, China Resources Snow Breweries (Snow Beer JV) acquired a 49% stake in Jiangsu Dafuhao Breweries (based near Shanghai in Nantong), as well as a 100% stake in Shanghai Asia Pacific Brewery.
  • In 1994, China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow) became a joint venture between China Resources Enterprise (51% share) and SABMiller (49% share).
  • In 1983, Heineken entered mainland China. The Dutch brewery gained a foothold in the cities of Putian, Quanzhou and Fuzhou, Fujian Province.

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