China Resources Beer to buy SABMiller's 49% stake in China Resources Snow for $1.6 bn

China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co Ltd today struck a deal to buy SABMiller's 49 per cent stake in China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow) for $1.6 billion, in order to take full control of the country's top beer brand.

China Resources Beer plans to fund the all cash deal through a combination of funding options including debt and/or equity financing.

The deal comes less than a month after Anheuser- Busch InBev agreed to sell SABMiller's Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime brands to Japan's Asahi Group Holdings for €2.55 billion ($2.85 million) as part of its plan to sell assets in order to ease competition concerns and win approval from regulators for their merger.

AB Inbev, the world's largest brewer, agreed in November last year to buy its British rival SABMiller for $121 billion.

CR Snow is a 22 year-old joint venture between Hong Kong-listed China Resources Beer (Holdings) and SABMiller.

Chinese regulators would have scrutinized the deal and SABMiller would have to sell its majority stake in CR Snow, which produces the world's top-selling cold one, Snow Beer, in order to get the merger deal approved in China.

Beijing-based CR Snow is the largest brewing company in China, with a market share of around 21 per cent.

Its brands include Snow, which is currently the world's biggest-selling beer measured by volume, with sales of around 16.5 billion pints, Blue Sword, Green Leaves, Huadan, Huadan Yate, Largo, L÷wen, New Three Star, Shengquan, Shenyang, Singo, Sip, Tianjin, Yatai, Yingshi and Zero Clock.