China Resources buys Maotai maker: reports

Staff Reporter and Bloomberg

China Resources reportedly agreed to acquire a 51% stake in Jinsha jiuye, becoming the largest shareholder in the Guizhou-based Chinese baijiu maker, according to mainland media.

The acquisition is expected to go public in August, according to the reports.

Meanwhile, China Resources Beer (0291), a subsidiary of China Resources, said it had no information to disclose and would not comment on market rumours.

China Resources had reached cooperation intentions with Jinsha’s majority shareholder as early as last year, but was at a confidential stage, the report said, citing an unnamed Jinsha staff member.

The China Resources team will soon join Jinsha and the two sides will cooperate at the operational level, the report added.

Jinsha sought to go public. In April last year, Zhang Daohong, chairman of the company, said it would bring in strategic investors to accelerate development and planned an initial public offering in 2024.

Founded in 1951, Jinsha is one of Guizhou’s first state-owned liquor production enterprises, which has more than 3,000 employees.

The company is famous for its Maotai-flavored liquors, which range in price from 600 yuan (HK$697) to 900 yuan on mainland e-commerce sites.

Meanwhile, China Resources expanded into the alcohol industry and invested in Shanxi Fenjiu and Jingzhi Liquor through its subsidiaries.

The Chinese conglomerate is also considering a Hong Kong IPO of its bottled water unit which could fetch up to US$1 billion (HK$7.8 billion), Bloomberg reported in April.

China Resources has discussed the possible listing of China Resources C’estbon Beverage (China) internally, as well as with several financial advisers, the sources said. A listing could take place as early as next year, according to the report.

China Resources has sought to monetize its assets, encouraging its business units to tap into funding themselves, the person said. The state-backed conglomerate was also considering a Hong Kong IPO of its supermarket business CR Vanguard, Bloomberg News reported last year.