SABMiller's joint-venture in China, CR Snow Breweries, has signed a deal to take control of Guizhou Moutai Beer, via a joint-venture with the brewer's owner, China Kweichow Moutai Distillery Co.

SABMiller said today (18 August) that CR Snow will pay RMB270m (US$42m) to take a 70% stake in the joint-venture. The venture will be called China Resources Snow Breweries (Junyi) Limited.

A report out of China earlier this week said that a deal for Moutai was close. The move is part of CR Snow's expansion push in China.

Moutai Beer accounts for one in two beers sold in China's Guizhou Province and sold 1.8m hectolitres of beer in 2010, SABMiller said. CR Snow is already strong in the province, having increased volumes by 40% per year since launching there in 2007, SABMiller added.

SABMiller's MD for Asia, Ari Mervis, said: "CR Snow's partnership with Moutai further strengthens our position in this important province and further supports in building on our position as the leading brewer in the China beer market." Mervis is also chairman of CR Snow, in which SABMiller holds a 49% stake.

China Resources Enterprise owns the other 51% and its CEO, Chen Lang, said: "The brewing industry in Guizhou Province has been growing rapidly in recent years, with the overall sales volume in 2010 increasing by 10% year-on-year to 3.9m hectolitres.

"Leveraging the joint venture's brand equity in Guizhou Province, CR Snow will immediately widen its market network, thereby generating more opportunities for Snow beer's further development," he added.