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SAB, A-B fight for China's Harbin

By Published on .

[Harbin, China] SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch have plunged into the first hostile-takeover battle for control of a Chinese company, Harbin Brewery Group. Harbin is the fourth-largest brewery in China, the world's largest beer market by volume. On May 2, Anheuser-Busch announced its intention to acquire 29% of Harbin. Anheuser-Busch said in a statement, "Harbin fits our strategy of investing in leading companies in growth markets like China with good volume and profit growth potential." The move shocked SABMiller, which purchased 29.6% of Harbin in June 2003. SABMiller made an unsolicited takeover bid, prompting Harbin's CEO Peter Lo to criticize SABMiller's involvement with his company over the past year and cite Anheuser-Busch as a better strategic partner.
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