The controlling shareholder in the Chinese winemaker Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co is seeking to offload a 43% stake in the group to two foreign companies. Yantai is one of the country's top three wine brands.

The sale by Yantai Changyu Group will be in two segments of 33% and 10%.the sahes on sale are non-tradable and state-owned. Changyu Group will retain a 12% stake in the company.

Yantai said it was seeking either foreign leaders in the wine industry or major industrial funds as buyers.

In the first nine months of 2004, Changyu Pioneer's core revenue rose 26.8% on year to Y953.3m.

A company statement said that potential wine company suitors need to have been profitable in the three previous years and have a debt-to-asset ratio of under 60%. Meanwhile, industrial fund candidates have to be at least US$500m in size and must pledge to keep the stake for at least five years.