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A-B Buys Controlling Stake in Chinese Brewery

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis – St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest beer maker, topped a rival takeover bid by SABMiller PLC and snapped up a controlling stake in Harbin Brewery Group Limited.

Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser and Bud Light, paid $49.8 million (U.S.) for an additional seven percent stake in Harbin Brewery, a century-old brewery based in the northeastern city of Harbin.

The purchase gave the U.S. beer giant a 36 percent stake. Under Hong Kong Stock Exchange rules, that triggers a mandatory offer by Anheuser-Busch for the remaining shares in Harbin Brewery that it doesn't already own.

The 72 cents per share paid by Anheuser-Busch for the purchase announced today is 30 percent above an offer made last week by SABMiller, the world's second-biggest brewer by volume.

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