The Danish brewer Carlsberg is to create a subsidiary in the US, Carlsberg USA, after parting ways with current distributor Labatt USA.

Carlsberg Breweries A/S and Labatt USA will end their import, distribution and marketing agreement in the US from May 1, 2004.
"Carlsberg and Labatt USA have enjoyed a positive, mutually beneficial relationship since we first joined forces," said Simon Thorpe, president of Labatt USA.

"Dramatic changes have taken place in the imported beer market during that time, and as a result, both companies agree that the time is right to part ways. For Labatt USA, the change allows us to focus efforts on our diverse portfolio of imported and specialty beers, particularly on-premise, where Labatt USA supplies 50 percent of the imported draught beer," said Thorpe.

"Carlsberg Breweries has had a good relationship with Labatt USA and we appreciate the efforts they have made over the years for the Carlsberg brand," says Søren Holm Jensen, Carlsberg Breweries vice president. "But the time has now come to form our own import company, Carlsberg USA Inc., which will give us full control of our sales and marketing initiatives. Also, it makes sense to group several complementary Carlsberg brands under one roof, much as Labatt USA has successfully done in America."  

Carlsberg USA plans to distribute the Carlsberg brand and Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Gold and its two UK brands Tetley's and Double Diamond.