Carlsberg has confirmed its acquisition of Parag breweries in Kolkata and declared plans to become the leader in India's domestic premium beer market.

Speaking to just-drinks today (25 September), a spokesperson for the Danish brewer confirmed that Carlsberg is awaiting government approval for the purchase of the Kolkata-based Parag brewery. "We do not know how long this approval will take, but it is all going ahead," the spokesperson said. No financial details were given, with the spokesperson declining to say when approval is expected.

Local reports last week suggested that the purchase will cost South Asia Breweries, Carlsberg's joint venture in the country with Sri Lanka's Lion Brewery Ceylon, in the region of INR320m (US$7.9m).

Carlsberg recently acquired Himneel brewery in Himachal Pradesh, which has a capacity of 150,000 hl and possibilities for expansion. The construction of a greenfield brewery with an initial capacity of 450,000 hl in the state of Rajasthan, south-west of Delhi, will be completed in Q1 2008, said the company.

Last weekend, the brewer launched All Malt Premium Beer in India. The company said that it aims to establish the brand as a leading in Northern India and gradually roll the beer out in other parts of the nation.