Kirin Holdings is to expand its presence in China's soft drinks market by raising its stake in joint venture group Shanghai Jinjiang Kirin Beverage & Food.

Kirin said today (8 December) that it would increase its stake in the venture from 57.6% to 93% by acquiring shares owned by its Chinese joint venture partner, state-owned Jin Jiang International Group.

A fee for the deal was not disclosed.

Shanghai Jinjiang Kirin Beverage & Food, formed in 1996, has a capital value of US$2.48bn, Kirin said.

The deal is the latest move in Kirin's strategy to expand beyond its native Japan. Earlier this year, the group secured full control of Australian brewer Lion Nathan and took a near-49% stake in Philippines-based San Miguel Brewery.

Kirin's net sales, minus excise tax, are expected to hit JPY1.93tn (US$21.6bn) for the 12 months of 2009, with operating profits of JPY125bn.

Sales and operating profits are anticipated to rise to JPY2.13tn and JPY188bn by the end of 2012, according to a three-year plan announced by the company in October this year.