|For immediate release||19th November, 2001|
Swire Pacific Limited today announced that it has sold its 49% interest in Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong Limited ("CBHK") to Pacific Spirits Group ("PSG") for a cash consideration of HK$260 million. CBHK is a joint venture between Carlsberg Asia controlling 51% of the shares and Swire Pacific holding 49%. CBHK owns a brewery in Huizhou, China and markets and distributes a range of Carlsberg and other beers in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. PSG is linked to Chang Beverage Company, which is already a joint venture partner in Carlsberg's other Asian operations.
Commenting on the sale, Mr Martin Cubbon, Group Finance Director of Swire Pacific, said, "The decision to dispose of our remaining interest in the beer business was taken following a strategic review of our trading and industrial portfolio. Although there is future growth potential in the beer business, there are limited synergies, and we have decided that our attention and future investment in this sector would be better focused on our core soft drinks interests."
Mr Michael Iuul, Chairman of CBHK and Head of Carlsberg Asia Limited said: "We have had a good cooperation with Swire Pacific in the past, but understand their wish to focus on their core business. We also welcome our new partner in CBHK. PSG and their associated companies are in fact already well established partners of Carlsberg, and we look forward to their added support in the development of our business in China."
PSG is the parent company of the Chang Beverage group, which is Carlsberg's joint venture partner in Carlsberg Asia. PSG and the Chang group are becoming a strong player on the Asian brewing and distillery scene. Last month, PSG acquired the famous Scotch whisky company Inver House .
Swire Pacific is one of Hong Kong's leading listed companies, with diversified interests under five operating divisions: Property, Aviation, Marine Services, Beverages and Trading & Industrial. Swire Pacific is primarily focused in the Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan region where the Swire Group has been established for over 125 years. Swire Pacific's beverages division is an anchor bottler for Coca-Cola products, selling over 320 million cases of soft drinks annually in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and parts of the western USA.
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