Heineken is acquiring a 40 percent stake in the parent company of Snow, the world’s largest beer brand, for HK$24.4 billion (¥21.3 billion).
The deal will see the Dutch beer behemoth share ownership with the state-owned China Resources Enterprise of China Resources Beer, the country’s largest brewer, while CR Beer gains control of Heineken’s operations and license in China.
China is the world’s largest beer market by volume and is now the second largest premium beer market worldwide. Demand from a rapidly growing middle class has led Heineken to predict that the country will be “the biggest contributor to premium volume growth in the next five years.”
The brands hope the partnership will let them tap each other’s brewing facilities, market knowledge, brand building capabilities, and route to market networks.
The deal will also potentially bring more of Heineken’s premium brands into China, while the Dutch company will help Snow and other brands from CR Beer’s stable grow internationally.