Japan’s Suntory to end joint Chinese venture with Tsingtao

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Tokyo (dpa) – Two of Asia’s biggest drinks companies, Japan’s Suntory Holdings Ltd and China’s Tsingtao Brewery Co, are to dissolve their Chinese joint venture amid fierce competition and slow growth.

Suntory said Monday it would sell Tsingtao its 50-per-cent stake in both the beer production and sales companies established in 2013.

The sale, to be concluded by spring 2016, would be worth about 15.6 billion yen (130 million dollars).

Suntory will continue to sell its brand beer in China, mainly in Shanghai and Jiangsu Province, following the transfer of shares, the company said.

Stiff price competition from industry leader China Resources Snow Breweries and others ended up driving the joint venture into the red, Nikkei business daily reported.

China’s slowing economy and austerity measures also caused the country’s beer consumption in 2014 to fall below the previous year for the first time, the daily said.

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