On the Street -- Kirin Ups Stake in Chinese JV

December 9/Tokyo/Asia Pulse --  Japanese firm Kirin Holdings Co. will drastically raise its interest in a soft drink joint venture in China. Wholly owned subsidiary Kirin Beverage Co. currently has a 57.66% stake in Shanghai Jin Jiang Kirin Beverage & Food Co., which is 39.36%-owned by local travel agency Shanghai Jin Jiang International Industrial Investment Co.

* Kirin (China) Investment Co., the unit overseeing Kirin's Chinese operations, will acquire a 35.38% interest from Jin Jiang for some 1.7 billion yen ($19.2 million) at the end of January, increasing the Japanese group's stake to about 93%.

* The deal is aimed at speeding decision-making and expanding Kirin's business in China.

From the December 21, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition