Malaysia’s Lion Group has agreed to sell a 50 per cent stake in its Chinese brewing operations to Belgian brewer Interbrew for US$131m, China Daily said. The sale is expected to be completed early in 2004. Under the agreement, Interbrew will take management control of the operations and has the option to buy the remaining 50 per cent for another US$131m within a year of the closure of the deal.
The acquisition will make Interbrew the third largest brewer in China by volume. It will also give it a first presence in the provinces of Hubei, Hunan and Shandong.