Heineken Expands in China

It's buying a 40 percent stake in the company that controls China's biggest beer maker.

In this file photo dated Friday, March 30, 2018, bottles of Heineken beer are photographed in Washington, USA. Dutch brewing company Heineken said in a statement Friday Aug, 3, 2018, it is buying a 40 percent stake in the company that controls China’s biggest beer maker, China Resources Beer.
In this file photo dated Friday, March 30, 2018, bottles of Heineken beer are photographed in Washington, USA. Dutch brewing company Heineken said in a statement Friday Aug, 3, 2018, it is buying a 40 percent stake in the company that controls China’s biggest beer maker, China Resources Beer.
AP Photo/J. David Ake, FILE

BRUSSELS (AP) — Dutch brewing company Heineken says it's buying a 40 percent stake in the company that controls China's biggest beer maker, China Resources Beer.

Heineken said in a statement Friday that it would invest $3.1 billion in the venture as it seeks to expand in the world's biggest beer market.

It says that Chinese drinkers are embracing imported beers and that CRB, a state-controlled company that produces the best-selling Snow lager, lacks a premium overseas brand.

The stake in CRB would significantly boost Heineken's distribution reach.

Heineken is trying to keep pace with, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is the world's largest brewing company and in 2016 added to its heft by taking over its closest rival, SABMiller.

AB InBev is worth 174 billion euros ($202 billion), multiple times Heineken's 51 billion euros.

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