China Resources Enterprise snubs Fosters Group to focus on domestic demand

China Resources Enterprise snubs Foster's Group to focus on domestic demand

SABMiller's Chinese joint-venture partner, China Resources Enterprise, has ruled itself out of bidding for Foster's Group, according to a report.

China Resources Enterprise (CRE) has joined a growing list of brewers that have distanced themselves from Foster's. The head of CRE, Vincent Tse, was quoted by Reuters yesterday (22 June) as saying that the company is "not interested" in the Australian brewer and is solely focussed on China.

CRE operates the CR Snow beer business in China with SABMiller, which is, as yet, the only brewer known to have tabled a bid for Foster's. Earlier this week, Foster's rejected SABMiller's AUD4.9 per share cash offer, saying that, at AUD9.5bn (US$10bn) before debt, the approach significantly undervalues its beer business.

The rebuttal from CRE suggests that China's brewers are not yet ready to look beyond their own national boundaries, particularly given the room for domestic expansion. Tsingtao Brewery, which is 20%-owned by Japan's Asahi, has already ruled itself out of the race for Foster's.