Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co., part of the South Korean combine Lotte Group, has announced that it intends to set up a holding company in China in a bid to gain a presence in the Chinese beverage and confectionery markets.

The company said today (28 November) that it hopes to set up the Chinese operation in collaboration with its affiliate Lotte Confectionery Co. and Lotte Co. of Japan.

Lotte Confectionery and the Japanese Lotte subsidiary already operate in China through a 50-50 joint venture called Lotte China Foods Co., set up in 1994, which produces chewing gum and biscuits.

Lotte Confectionery also acquired the Chinese chocolate producer Shanghai BBCA Aloha Chocolate Co. in July, and purchased a pie and snack production plant in the port city of Qingdao, in eastern China, last year.

Earlier this month, Lott Chilsung snapped up a Chinese beverage maker in Henan Province for US$23m. The business will be renamed Lotte Aodeli Beverage Co.