Kirin Holdings forms soft drinks venture with China Resources Enterprise

Kirin Holdings forms soft drinks venture with China Resources Enterprise

Kirin Holdings has signed a deal to establish a soft drinks joint venture in China with China Resources Enterprise.

Japan-based Kirin will spend US$400m to take a 40% stake in the joint venture. It said today (24 January) that it will acquire 40% of the holding company of China Resources Enterprise's non-alcoholic drinks subsidiary, C'estbon Food & Beverage (Shenzhen) Co.

Both firms have yet to agree on the full details of the venture, Kirin added. Its move is the latest in a string of overseas mergers and acquisitions as the brewer seeks to reduce its reliance on the sluggish Japanese drinks market.

Beer is off-limits for the Kirin venture, because China Resources Enterprise already operates a beer joint venture with SABMiller in China, named China Resources Snow Breweries.

C'estbon Food & Beverage has annual net sales and profits of HKD1.6bn (US$205m) and HKD144m respectively. It employs 2,810 people.

Last year, Kirin acquired a 15% stake in Singapore-based food and drink giant Fraser & Neave, which jointly owns Asia Pacific Breweries with Heineken.