World-renowned beer brand Heineken has partnered with one of China’s largest brewers, China Resources Beer. Heineken has taken a $3.1 billion stake in the company, combining its three Chinese factories with CR Beers current operations, while CR Beer has gained licensing rights to the Heineken brand in China.
The deal will allow Heineken to grow the company’s presence in China while CR Beers will be able to use Heineken's distribution networks to increase the international presence of the company’s Snow brand (the largest beer brand in the world). Heineken will gain a 40 per cent stake in CR Beer, becoming its minority partner. The partnership between the two companies will cover Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau.
Heineken believes that in the next five years China will become the biggest contributor to premium volume growth in the beer category. With 45.5 million litres of beer produced annually, China currently has the world’s largest beer market.