Chinese food and drink conglomerate Bright Food has snapped up a 40% stake in distilled spirit producer Quan Xing Jiu Ye.

The Shanghai-based company has bought the stake from ShuiJingFang, which also sold 55% of Quan Xing to Sichuan Swellfun last year. The 40% stake, which was sold this week, cost Bright Food in the region of CNY47.1m (US$7.1m).

ShuiJingFang, which is 40%-owned by Sichuan Chengdu Quanxing Group, made the sale in order to adhere to Foreign Investment Catalogue legislation, prohibiting foreign ownership of "famous quality" Chinese white spirit brands.

Diageo currently holds 49% of Sichuan Chengdu Quanxing Group, but moved last year to up its stake to 53%. The proposed transaction is still awaiting approval from China's competition authorities.

While ShuiJingFang has now sold 95% of Quan Xing, the remaining 5% is held by the workers' unions.

“This year, we will focus on expanding in the domestic wine and liquor market,” said a Bright spokesperson, adding that plans for new products and a new brand name have not been decided.

"These things will be discussed after the closure of the deal," he said.

Back in June, Bright Food was rumoured to be considering a move for Foster's Group's wine division, a report which the Chinese firm denied at the time.