* CEFC buys majority stake in Pivovary Lobkowicz Group
* Takes 10 percent in airline company Travel Service
* Has also acquired soccer club, media group stakes
* Czechs seeking closer economic ties with China
(Combines details of airline, brewery, other deals)
By Jason Hovet
PRAGUE, Sept 5 China's sixth largest private
company CEFC added to a weeklong buying spree in the Czech
Republic on Saturday, announcing deals to buy a majority stake
in a top brewery group and a share in an airline company in the
central European country.
The Czechs have sought more investment ties with the world's
second largest economy. This week President Milos Zeman was the
only Western leader to attend a massive military parade to mark
the end of World War Two in Beijing.
CEFC, which counts energy and financial services as its core
businesses, had already announced a series of deals, including
taking a majority in Slavia Prague, one of the oldest Czech
On Saturday, CEFC China Energy Company said it had acquired
a 10 percent stake in Travel Service, operator of airline
Smartwings and the second-largest shareholder in Czech Airlines
after Korean Air. CEFC said it planned to acquire a
further 39.92 stake in Travel Service at a later date.
"An investment into the largest Czech airline operator is a
big opportunity for us to develop our business in Europe," CEFC
President Chan Chauto said. "We chose Prague as the headquarters
of our European activities and plan to invest in all areas."
CEFC will also be the lead investor in a 1.9 billion crown
($78.46 million) deal to buy a 79.4 percent stake in brewer
Pivovary Lobkowicz Group by taking 70 percent control
of the special purposed company buying the share. Czech
investment group J&T will hold 20 percent.
Lobkowicz Chief Executive Zdenek Radil, who had agreed to
buy the brewery stake in June, will have 10 percent in the new
shareholder and an option to buy another 10 percent from CEFC.
Lobkowicz is the fifth largest brewer in the Czech Republic
- home of the original Pilsner lager and the world's highest
per-capita annual beer consumption rate. It said CEFC's
involvement will create opportunities in Asian markets.
CEFC had already announced this week it would buy two
buildings in Prague's centre and double its stake in J&T Finance
Group to 9.99 percent, aiming to grow that to 30 percent.
It also said on Saturday it would buy minority stakes in
communication firm Medea Group and media company Empresa Media,
which owns television channel TV Barrandov and publishes weekly
(Editing by Alison Williams)