SABMiller's joint-venture in China, CR Snow Breweries, is understood to be close to acquiring the beer business of China Kweichow Moutai Distillery Group.

CR Snow, which is 51%-owned by China Resources Enterprise, is likely to pay at least CNY100m (US$15.7m) for Moutai Group's Moutai Beer business, according to a Sinocast report yesterday (15 August). Moutai and CR Snow have been in talks about a deal for much of this year, said the report, which cited "people in the know".

When contacted about the prospective deal, an SABMiller spokesperson declined to comment to just-drinks. SABMiller owns the remaining 49% of CR Snow.

Moutai beer has three production lines and 580 staff, according to the company's website. If CR Snow's planned acquisition goes through, it will follow closely behind the brewer's buyout of all outstanding shares in two breweries in China's Zhejiang province, announced earlier this month.