INDIA: APB coy on fresh acquisition talks
Asia Pacific Breweries, the Singapore-based brewer and Asian partner of Heineken, has refused to be drawn on reports that it is in talks to take control of another brewer in India.
APB, which in May signalled its entry into India with the acquisition of a 76% stake in Aurangabad Breweries, has started talks with Lilasons Breweries, according to Indian daily The Economic Times.
The paper said today (25 October) that APB is also looking to buy a 76% stake in Lilasons, which has two breweries in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
However, a spokesperson for APB in Singapore was coy on the reported negotiations. "We do not respond to market speculation and we have no comment on the matter," she told just-drinks.
In June, APB announced plans to set up a greenfield brewery outside Hyderabad with local soft drinks firm the Jaipuria Group. The Tiger Beer brewer's chief executive, Koh Poh Tiong, said at the time that it was "critical" that APB established a presence in India's key beer markets.
India has become a magnet for investment from the world's brewing giants in recent years. The market, which is dominated by United Breweries and SABMiller, is growing at around 7% a year thanks to increased consumption from a burgeoning middle class.
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