Private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts will take a stake in China’s largest liquor store chain, VATS. The purchase was announced by the US-based group in a statement, although it did not say how much it was investing.
VATS started in 1966 in cooperation with Wuliangye Distillery and now employs more than 2,000 sales personnel. It divides its market into 20 regional markets, with over 2,000 agents and more than 10,000 distributors.
VATS’ sales network is the widest in the Chinese liquor industry; it operates 270 retail outlets. MarketWatch reports that sales of white liquor in China grew by an annual 20% over the last five years.