Anheuser-Busch is readying its Budweiser beer brand for launch in Vietnam.

The US-based brewer, which is the rumoured subject of a possible takeover bid by InBev, said today (9 June) that Budweiser will be launched in the country through an import and distribution agreement with the Gannon Distribution Company.

The beer will be brewed and packaged at A-B's brewery in Los Angeles and will be marketed as a premium international lager. The brand will also use its official sponsorship of the 2008 Olympic Games and its support of football to build awareness. This includes using the official Olympic marks on Budweiser packaging in Vietnam as well as promoting the brand's sponsorship of Manchester United.

"Vietnam is an exciting beer market and an important one for A-B to begin establishing and building the Budweiser brand," said Tom Santel, CEO and president of Anheuser-Busch International. "The country's beer industry experienced double-digit volume growth for the past three years and already has a well-developed premium segment."

The Gannon Group Vietnam Ltd. is a foreign-invested company engaged in warehousing, logistics, industrial leasing, beverage production and infrastructure development. The company already partners with Pepsi and Diageo in the country.

Budweiser will be available in Vietnam starting early this month and will be available in 355ml non-returnable bottles and 355ml cans.