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OSAKA (Kyodo) Suntory Ltd. said Thursday it has signed an agreement to acquire all outstanding shares in Shanghai Foster’s Brewery Co., a Chinese brewing subsidiary of major Australian liquor maker Foster’s Group Ltd.

The agreement reflects Suntory’s move to expand its beer business in China, the biggest beer market in the world, and is in line with the Australian company’s effort to promote its wine business, the Osaka-based distiller said without disclosing the value of the deal.

With Shanghai Foster’s Brewery under its wing, Suntory will expand its share of the Shanghai beer market to nearly 60 percent from the current 54 percent. It will also increase its beer production capacity to 800,000 kiloliters a year from 700,000.

Founded in 1993, Shanghai Foster’s Brewery chalked up sales equivalent to 560 million yen in 2005, according to Suntory. The Chinese company is capitalized at $60.4 million and has a workforce of around 230.

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