Anheuser-Busch (AB) has denied that it is looking to buy a stake in a major Chinese brewer, according to local press reports. Citing a source at Golden Star Beer Group, the South China Morning Post reported today (21 October) that AB may pay US$1 bln for a stake in the mainland's number five brewer.

"Anheuser has expressed an interest in us," the source told the paper, "and we need the capital to fund capacity expansion." The source added that AB has been negotiating a possible deal since earlier this year.

However, in a statement, AB International's chief executive and president Steve Burrows said: "Anheuser-Busch is not in any discussions concerning acquisition of the Jinxing (Golden Star)."

Golden Star, which was established as a collectively-owned enterprise in 1985, plans to spend RMB1.4 bln (US$169.3m) building three breweries with a combined annual production capacity of about 1.2m tons, the paper added. The move will raise its annual capacity to 2.7m tonnes from 1.5m tonnes.