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SABMiller PLC - Acquisition by Associate

RNS Number:8012Y
SABMiller PLC
18 May 2004


  SABMILLER ASSOCIATE ACQUIRES TWO CHINESE BREWERIES TO STRENGTHEN FOOTHOLD IN
                                 ANHUI PROVINCE


London and Johannesburg, 18thMay 2004. China Resources Breweries Limited ('CRB
'), an associate of SABMiller plc ('SABMiller') and a subsidiary of China
Resources Enterprise, Limited ('CRE'), announces that it has acquired a 90%
interest in two breweries in Anhui Province from Anhui Longjin Group Limited ('
Longjin Group'). The two brewing plants in Shucheng and Liuan produce the famous
'Longjin' brand. The Longjin Group retains the remaining 10% interest.


The consideration for the acquisition was based on the book asset value of the
two breweries as at 31st December 2003 and, subject to adjustment, amounted to
RMB280 million (c.US$34 million) including assumption of certain liabilities
totalling RMB82 million (c.US$10 million). With a combined annual production
capacity of about 2.8 million hectolitres, the two brewing plants achieved sales
volume of approximately 1.4 million hectolitres in 2003.


Prior to the acquisition, CRB already owned and operated two breweries in Anhui
and is one of the largest brewers in the province, with annual production
capacity of 3.5 million hectolitres and sales volume in 2003 of 2.4 million
hectolitres. With the acquisition, CRB will become the largest brewer in Anhui
Province. Including the joint venture with Zhejiang Qianpi Group signed in March
this year, the annual production capacity of CRB will be increased to about 49
million hectolitres. CRB will have 32 breweries covering the North Eastern,
South Western, Central and Eastern regions of the Chinese Mainland.


Mr. Andre Parker, Managing Director of SABMiller's Africa & Asia division,
commented 'These latest acquisitions are another step in the creation of a
powerful strategic growth platform for CRB, further strengthening its position
as the second largest brewer in China. The transaction was completed at a price
which represents excellent value to both SABMiller and CRE, and will enable us
to access synergies and cost benefits with our existing operations.'


Mr. Frank Ning, Chairman of CRE, said, 'The addition of Longjin will strengthen
our presence in Anhui Province with a dominant market share in Hefei and Liuan.
It will help span our significant market presence across the Central region,
where we already have established a strong foothold in Wuhan. It will be another
important platform for us to extend the distribution of our national brand,
Snow.'


ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS:


Anhui Province has a population of 59 million people and is in the Eastern
region of China.


About SABMiller plc

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers, with 2002/03 lager sales
volumes in excess of 115 million hectolitres.  It has a brewing presence in over
40 countries across four continents and a portfolio of strong brands and leading
market shares in many of the countries in which it has brewing operations.
Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola
products in the world.


In the year ended 31 March 2003, the group generated US$770 million pre-tax
profit from a turnover of US$9,112 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the
London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.


About China Resources Breweries Limited

China Resources Breweries Limited was established in 1994 and is engaged in the
production, sales and marketing of beer and beverages in China. Its shareholders
are China Resources Enterprise, Limited and SABMiller plc, the third largest
brewing group in the world. China Resources Enterprise, Limited has 51%
interests in China Resources Breweries Limited while SABMiller plc holds 49%
interests. It operates more than 30 breweries in the Chinese Mainland with total
sales volume of 2.53 million kilolitres in 2003.


About China Resources Enterprise, Limited

China Resources Enterprise, Limited is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
and is also traded on SEAQ International of the London Stock Exchange.  It is
also one of the constituent stocks of the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong and Hang
Seng London Reference Index.  The Group has a well-diversified portfolio of
businesses in both Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, with principal activities
being retail, beverage, food processing and distribution, textile and petroleum
distribution.


This announcement is available on www.sabmiller.com


CONTACTS:

Sue Clark
Director of Corporate Affairs                  Tel: +44 20 7659 0184
SABMiller plc                                  Mob: +44 7850 285471


Gary Leibowitz
Vice President, Investor Relations             Tel: +44 20 7659 0119
SABMiller plc                                  Mob: +44 7717 428540


Nigel Fairbrass
Head of Corporate Communications (Finance)     Tel: +44 20 7659 0105
SABMiller plc                                  Mob: +44 7799 894265


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
END

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