INDIA: Carlsberg chills Anheuser-Busch InBev tie-up talk
Carlsberg has no plan to work with A-B InBev
Carlsberg has quelled speculation that it plans to work with Anheuser-Busch InBev in the fledgling Indian beer market.
Speculation over a tie-up between the two has grown after it emerged that officials from both brewers held a meeting to talk through their operations in India.
"We had a meeting in India," confirmed a Carlsberg spokesperson to just-drinks today (9 April).
But, the Denmark-based brewer is not expecting to take matters further.
"It was a first initial meeting and I think it will also be the last," said the spokesperson. "There is no plan for co-operation with A-B InBev," he added.
At a time when most beer markets around the world are battling against stagnation and a fall in consumer spending power, India has continued to show promise for brewers.
The problem is that India's beer market remains a dot on the horizon: volume sales rose by 28% in 2008 to 1.36bn litres, according to figures from global research group Mintel. Those compare to a UK market down 11.5% in 2008 but still at 4.78bn litres.
United Breweries, which is 37.5%-owned by Heineken, and SABMiller have more than 80% of India's beer market locked up between them, making it difficult for other multinationals to gain a foothold.
We fully intend to keep an eye on how things develop here in the UK with Grupo Modelo's Corona Extra bottled beer brand....
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