China Resources Beer Holdings (CR Beer), China’s leading brewing group in which Heineken holds a 40% stake, announced today to buy a 55.19% stake in Chinese baijiu liquor maker Guizhou Jinsha Jiaojiu Winery Industry for a total consideration of about USD 1.7 billion. Baijiu is a clear liquor usually distilled from fermented sorghum or other grains and has an alcohol content of between 35% and 60% ABV.
It is already the second time, the beer maker has made a major investment in the baijiu market in China. Last year, CR Beer through China Resources Wine Holdings already invested CNY 1.3 billion (USD 180 million) in exchange for a 40% stake in Shandong Jingzhi Baijiu, another baijiu manufacturer. "We will diversify our alcohol business" and "Baijiu is […] the first choice in this strategy”, said CR Beer CEO Hou Xiaohai at that time. (inside.beer, 28.9.2021)
After the necessary official approval of the newest takeover, Jinsha Jiaojiu Winery will operate as an independent entity.
Founded in 2007, Jinsha Jiaojiu Winery has grown significantly in recent years and established a nationwide distribution network. Revenue and profit both more than doubled last year from the year before to CNY 6.1 billion (USD 837 million) and CNY 1.3 billion (USD 92.2 million) respectively.
The new acquisition is CR Beer’s biggest outlay on a non-beer asset and it comes at a time when stock prices of Chinese distillers are depressed and trading at a discount. However, CR Beer does not plan further acquisitions in this market for the time being, as the firm will focus on running the brands it already owns, Hou said.