Heineken takes on AB InBev with $3-billion deal in China

It will be the country's biggest brewery deal to date.

Heineken has announced that it is buying a $3.1 billion stake in China’s top beer maker. The deal will see it take a 40 percent stake in the parent of China Resources Beer, which makes the country’s best-selling Snow brand.

The move will give the Dutch brewer a local foothold and distribution network in the market, which has seen intense and increasing competition of late, with alcohol drinkers switching to more expensive and imported beverages.

According to a statement by Heineken, its operations in the country will be combined with those of China Resources Beer, and it will licence its brand to the Chinese partner on a long-term basis.

Pictured: Heineken CFO, Laurence Debroux