Thua Thien-Hue province has sold its 50 percent stake in the Hue Brewery Company to Carlsberg, making the Danish beer giant the 100 percent owner.

The deal is valued a total of 1.8 trillion VND (93 million USD) for its two breweries and the Huda Hue brand name.

The provincial government decided to sell its stake because it did not have the money to invest in boosting production and increasing the company's market share.

Hue Brewery was established in 1990 and became a joint venture with Carlsberg Group four years later with the two sides' stakes valued at 9 million USD each.

The company, with an annual output of 200 million litres, has an 8 percent market share of the Vietnam beer market, and is one of the top four brewers in the country along with Sabeco, Habeco and Vietnam Beer.

It hopes to expand its market share to 15 percent by 2015 and the deal, its general director Nguyen Mau Chi explained, is to help the company fulfil its strategy since the provincial government could not find the required financial resources.

An additional investment of 2.5 trillion VND (119 million USD) would be needed, he said.

The chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue People's Committee, Nguyen Van Cao, said Carlsberg has committed to increase the company's capacity to 350 million litres a year by 2015.

Hue Brewery has been the biggest source of revenue for the provincial government budget, providing a third or even half of total collections.

Last year it contributed 850 billion VND (40.5 million USD) and that is expected to rise to 900 billion VND this year.

The sales notwithstanding, Cao said the deal will help strengthen the Huda Hue brand./.