Carlsberg has no plan to work with A-B InBev

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.