Historic brewer with pubs across Portsmouth area sold to Hong Kong billionaire

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ONE of the UK's oldest brewers has been bought by Hong Kong's richest man for more than £4.6bn.

Greene King, which owns 2,700 pubs across the UK, has accepted an offer from the company owned by Li Ka-Shing, a 91-year old bussinessmen who also owns stakes in Three and Superdrug. 

Stocks in the pub company soared by more than 50% after Ka-Shing’s company CKA announced the purchase. 

In a statement, Greene King said CKA had no plans to make ‘material changes’ to staff numbers.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, said: “Greene King has a well-invested estate in prime locations, leading brands, a rich history and a talented team of 38,000 people serving millions of customers across the country every week.”

Greene King's flagship beer Greene King IPA enjoyed increased sales across China after President Xi Jinping was pictured drinking a pint with then prime minister David Cameron during a state visit in 2015.

Nik Antona, CAMRA's National Chairman said: ‘The news that Britain's largest pub and brewery company has been sold to an international asset company is very concerning for our beer scene.

‘We are always wary of one company controlling a large share of the market, which is seldom beneficial for consumers. Greene King has been in operation for over 200 years and it is a very sad day to see such a well-known, historic and respected name exit the brewing and pub business.’