October 31, 2013 / 12:10 PM / 5 years ago

Carlsberg gets approval to raise Chongqing Brewery stake

HONG KONG/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish brewer Carlsberg (CARLb.CO) has received authorization from China’s regulator to increase its stake in Chongqing Brewery (600132.SS) to 60 percent.

Carlsberg's company logo is pictured on a coaster in the bar in Riga, May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The Chinese brewer said on Thursday that China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) had given a green light for Carlsberg to raise its stake from the current 29.7 percent.

Carlsberg, the world’s fourth largest brewer, launched its partial take-over bid worth 2.65 billion Danish crowns ($489.28 million) in March.

The RMB 20 per share take-over bid is effective from the November 5 until December 4, Chongqing Brewery said in the statement.

A Carlsberg spokesman said its offer now has to go through a tender process.

Last week, Carlsberg’s main owner, the Carlsberg Foundation, said it wanted to drop a rule in its charter that it must own at least 25 percent of the brewer, a move that could open the door for a share issue and further acquisitions in Asia.

Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of the foundation and of the Carlsberg group, said at the time that the change would give the brewery more financial flexibility to act if acquisition opportunities arose.

Shares in Carlsberg traded 1.7 percent lower on Thursday at 11.37 GMT, while the Danish benchmark index OMXC20CAP .OMXC20CAP is 0.4 percent lower.

Trade in Chongqing Brewery’s shares was suspended on Thursday but would resume on Friday, Chongqing Brewery said.

($1 = 5.4161 Danish crowns)

Reporting by Meg Shen and Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong and Teis Jensen in Copenhagen, editing by Mette fraende and David Evans

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