* Carlsberg plans to raise stake in Chongqing Brewery
* Says shares of Chongqing suspended
* Carlsberg shares fall 0.6 percent
COPENHAGEN, Feb 25 Carlsberg is in
talks to increase its stake in Chongqing Brewery Co,
its joint-venture partner in China, the Danish brewer said on
The company, which inherited a stake in Chongqing Brewery
through its takeover of Britain's Scottish and Newcastle, raised
it in 2010 to make it the biggest shareholder in the Chinese
company with 29.7 percent.
Asia has become the main battle ground for the world's
biggest brewers. The region accounted for 18 percent of
Carlsberg's total sales volume in 2011 and 12 percent of its
Carlsberg, like other beer companies, has been relying on
high-growth emerging markets to compensate for weak sales in
Europe. But last week the Danish brewer reported that sales
growth had stalled in key market Russia.
Last year, Carlsberg said it aimed to increase its stake in
Chongqing Brewery to 100 percent as the company tries to offset
Europe's weakness, much like bigger rivals AB Inbev,
SABMiller and Heineken.
"It is positive that there is action behind the words that
they wish to grow in the Asian markets," said Sydbank analyst
"It is a really attractive brewery in an attractive area of
China," Imsgard said.
Carlsberg said shares in Chongqing Brewery had been
suspended and that it would make no further comment.