August 3/Shanghai/Associated Press -- SABMiller JV China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow) has signed a $47 million deal with Asahi Breweries Itochu to buy the remaining stakes of 55% in Hangzhou Xihu Breweries Asahi (Hangzhou Xihu Beer) and 25% in Xihu Breweries Asahi Co (Huzhou Brewery).

As per the transaction, both the companies will become wholly owned subsidiaries of CR Snow. In November 2010, the joint venture, in which China Resources Enterprise (CRE) is also a partner, has acquired 45% equity interest in Hangzhou Xihu Beer, which currently owns a 75% interest in Huzhou Brewery.

Located in the north of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou Xihu Beer and Huzhou Brewery have a combined production capacity of 5 million hectolitres per annum.

The latest deal follows recent transactions to build CR Snow's presence in key markets and grow value. Recently, CR Snow acquired Heineken-APB's 49%equity interest in Jiangsu Dafuhao Breweries Co and its 100% equity interest in Shanghai Asia Pacific Brewery Company.

CRE CEO Chen Lang said Xihu beer is widely received in the north of Zhejiang Province with good track record and huge growth potential, and the aquisition will further strengthen CR Snow's position in Chinese beer market.

"After the acquisition of the remaining stakes in Hangzhou Xihu Beer, the Group will continue to actively seek and evaluate investment opportunities in order to further expand its businesses, thereby strengthening the leading positions of its core businesses of retail, beer, food and beverage," Lang said.

CR Snow, which is engaged in the production, sales and marketing of beer in China, had a 21% share of the Chinese beer market with sales of about 92 million hectolitres in 2010.

From the August 3, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.