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Anheuser-Busch Buys Stake in Chinese Brewer

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – St. Louis-Based Anheuser-Busch announced Wednesday its purchase of a major stake in a Chinese brewer.

A-B paid $139 million for a 29 percent share of the Harbin Brewery Group.

St. Louis business analyst Juli Niemann says the move could be a good one for Anheuser-Busch.

"Beer is very popular in China," Niemann said. "They like it the same way we do, cold and semi-weak. So it's a very popular brew. There's a lot of regional loyalty to their particular brands, and Harbin has its own good segment there."

Niemann says A-B is in a strong position to take over Harbin if it wanted to.

Rival brewer Miller has a similar stake in Harbin, but was rebuffed in it's offer to buy the entire company.