Hite Jinro, second largest brewing company in South Korea and one of the country’s largest distillers said on Friday in a regulatory filing it is considering selling one of its three breweries to increase efficiency in beer production. The brewer with a production of 6.62 million hectoliters in 2016 is losing market share to number three brewer Lotte Chilsung Beverage and a growing import beer market.
In March the company had offered 100 from its 3,200 employees a voluntary retirement “as a preemptive measure to more effectively cope with Korea's declining beer and soju markets”, a Hite-Jinro official said at that time (inside.beer, 10.3.2017).
Moreover, the company is currently under investigation of Korea’s corporate watchdog Fair Trade Commission (FTC), after obstructing an investigation on unfair trade practices in April (inside.beer, 21.9.2017).
However, until now no decision has been made on the sale and on which of the sites is much likely to be sold. The outcome of the examination is still open.