China: Asahi sells stake in Tsingtao to Chinese investment group Fosun

Asahi Group Holdings is selling about 18% of its 19.99% stake in Tsingtao Brewery, China’s second largest beer producer, to Chinese investment group Fosun International. The agreed sales price of HK$27.22 for each of the Tsingtao shares marks a 32% discount to Tsingtao’s Monday closing price in Hong Kong and will generate a capital inflow of HK$6.6 billion (US$844 million) for Ashai. The remaining 1.99% stake will be sold at the same price to Tsingtao Brewery Group, the unlisted state brewer, which remains the largest investor in the brewery.

Guo Guangchang, the jet-setting chairman and co-founder of Fosun and one of the most aggressive Chinese investors, has beaten out Carlsberg (, 9.2.2017), China Ressource Beer (, 9.11.2017) and others, which were said to be interested in one of the oldest and probably most prestigious breweries in China.

Fosun Group was founded in 1992 as a market research company but soon extended its business into healthcare, real estate, financial services, leisure and travel, food and many more.

In July 2017, Fosun and its subsidiary Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co bought St Hubert, a French margarine producer, from Montagu Private Equity for about €600 million (US$702 million).

In February 2015, Fosun secured the majority of holiday group Club Méditerranée valuing the company at €939m and outbidding other investors in the longest takeover battle in French history.

The same year Fosun also bought in conjunction with Texas-based TPG Capital Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil at about $1.5 billion.

Tsingtao Brewery, based in Qingdao, a beach-lined city in China's east coast, was founded over 100 years ago when the Germans arrived and set up an Anglo-German brewery. Thus, Tsingtao is one of the oldest brands in China and is still considered a jewel in the Chinese beer market. It is the only Chinese beer brand that can be consistently found outside mainland China.

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