• Oriental Brewery owner buys undisclosed stake
  • China's white spirits market up 20% year-on-year
KKR adds VATS Liquor Store stake to Oriental Brewery ownership

KKR adds VATS Liquor Store stake to Oriental Brewery ownership

The private equity owner of South Korea's Oriental Brewery, KKR, has acquired a stake in one of China's leading spirits retailers, VATS Liquor Store.

KKR has become a shareholder in VATS, the US-based private equity group announced yesterday (15 December). It did not dislcose the size of the stake acquired or financial details of the acquisition.

The deal gives KKR a foothold in China's strongly-developing premium spirits market. "We are excited to be partnering with VATS, the leading franchise in China's liquor distribution industry," said KKR's managing director for Greater China, Xiang Li.

"The partnership between VATS and KKR marks a collective effort to seize the growth opportunity in China's liquor industry," said the two companies in a joint statement. China's white spirits market is valued at US$27bn and consumption has risen by 20% in volume annually for the last five years, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics.

VATS has exclusive rights to several premium white spirits brands, including Wuliangye Vintage Series, Guyuelongshan Vintage Series, Zhenjiu and Xiangjiao. It also distributes top wines from France's Lafite, Latour and Petrus houses, as well as Laphroaig Scotch whisky.