HONG KONG, June 22 China Resources Enterprise
Ltd , the country's biggest supermarket operator and
top beer maker, said it does not rule out overseas acquisition
opportunities but is not interested in bidding for Australia's
Foster's Group Ltd , and that its main focus is
developing the mainland market.
"We are not interested in bidding for Foster's, our focus is
in China," Vincent Tse, general manager for Strategic planning
and investor relations, told Reuters without elaborating.
Last month, China Resources Enterprise said it was eyeing
overseas asset acquisitions, but added that there was nothing in
the pipeline. It said it was looking at 6-7 deals in China
including breweries, supermarkets and beverage operations and
had sufficient financial support for acquisitions.
Market watchers have speculated that cash-rich Chinese
companies might be interested in bidding for Foster's assets as
they aim to expand overseas. Among Chinese brewers, China
Resources Enterprise is seen as having the financial muscle for
major acquisitions, analysts said.
Tsingtao Brewery Co Ltd , China's
best-known beer brand in which Japan's Asahi Breweries
owns a stake, said earlier that it had no interest in buying
Foster's assets. Company officials were not immediately
available for comment on the brewer's latest stance.
Smaller rival Kingway Brewery Holdings Ltd also
said it was not looking at Foster's. "It is impossible. Our
focus is on the mainland market," General Manager and Director
Jiang Guo Qing told Reuters.
Global beer giant SABMiller Plc launched a
cash bid for the Australian brewer valued at A$9.5 billion
($10.1 billion), excluding debt, which Foster's rejected.
Investors predicted Foster's would accept a higher offer.
(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Chris Lewis)