Workers inspect bottles of Snow beer on the production line in Tianjin, China. Snow beer is a brand of China Resources Breweries, a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprises. Picture: BLOOMBERG/DOUG KANTER
Workers inspect bottles of Snow beer on the production line in Tianjin, China. Snow beer is a brand of China Resources Breweries, a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources Enterprises. Picture: BLOOMBERG/DOUG KANTER

China Resources Beer has received more than double the price from Heineken for some of the shares it bought from SABMiller two years ago.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Heineken was paying $3.1bn for a 40% stake in China Resources Beer, the brewer of Snow, the world’s biggest-selling brand of beer by volume.

Two years ago, SABMiller sold its 49% stake in China Resources Beer for $1.6bn to meet regulatory requirements for its takeover by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).

SABMiller had been expected to receive between $3bn and $5bn for its stake in China Resources Beer, sending the Hong Kong-listed brewer’s share price rocketing 25% after the bargain it had negotiated was announced in October 2016.

Bloomberg reports that Heineken is paying an implied price of HK$36.31 per China Resources Beer share, a 3.4% premium to the HK$35.10 it was trading at on Friday morning.

SABMiller formed its joint venture with China Resources Beer in 1994, a year after the Chinese brewer was launched.

Within 10 years of its creation, Snow overtook AB InBev’s Budweiser as the world’s biggest-selling beer measured by volume, despite it only being sold in mainland China.

Before SABMiller’s takeover by AB InBev, the South African brewer’s relationship with Heineken grew increasingly hostile.

The Dutch brewer first yanked away SABMiller’s right to represent its Amstel brand in SA, and then attacked SABMiller in its backyard by building Sedibeng brewery in Johannesburg in partnership with Diageo and Namibian Breweries.