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S KOREA: Hite starts Jinro wheels turning

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Hite Brewery Co. has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire Jinro. The South Korean brewer said today (8 April) that its consortium is on the way to buying the liquor company for around US$3.2bn.

The Hite-led consortium includes a military savings fund, a teachers' pension fund and an investment arm of state-run Korea Development Bank. Hite itself is 25% owned by Carlsberg.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this week, the military fund confirmed that the consortium's bid for Jinro amounted to KRW3.2 trillion (US$3.16bn). A down payment of KRW70bn has already been made with lead manager Merrill Lynch.

A Hite spokesman also told Reuters that the consortium will conduct due diligence on the bankrupt company during the next four weeks. "It is possible the price may change after the due diligence," he told the news agency.

The deal is expected to complete by the end of July, once the anti-trust Fair Trade Commission examines the case.


Sectors: Beer & cider, Spirits

Companies: Carlsberg

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