Diageo’s bid to buy Chinese spirits giant Shui Jing Fang has been boosted by business secretary Vince Cable.
The Liberal Democrat MP is in Beijing as part of the UK’s biggest-ever trade mission to China. He pledged to help the Guinness and Smirnoff owner process its £700m move for Shui Jing Fang.
Diageo has been waiting for months for Chinese regulatory approval to increase its stake in Shui Jing Fang from 43% to a controlling 53% stake.
Cable told The Daily Telegraph the deal would be the subject of “discussions” with the Chinese.
The news comes after the Asian economic giant committed to new legislation to prevent its country’s whisky suppliers from calling spirits ‘Scotch whisky’.
The UK government expects the move to help Scotland to double the amount of whisky it exports to China over the next five years.
Diageo plots swoop for Chinese spirits group (2 March 2010)