Carlsberg is set to take over distribution of Modelo beer brand Corona Extra in several Eastern European markets, including Russia.

Carlsberg announced today (24 February) that it would extend its current distribution deal for Corona Extra to include nine new countries, with Russia heading the list.

Carlsberg subsidiaries, including Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH), will have exclusive rights to import, promote and sell Corona Extra in the countries, which also include  Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Carlsberg won the Corona deal in Russia from a local importer of super premium beer, it said today. The brewer's subsidiary in Russia, Baltika Breweries, is the clear beer market leader with a share of around 38%. 

Until now, Carlsberg had only disributed Corona in Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore.
"The second step in the development of the alliance of Modelo and Carlsberg covers important parts of the Eastern European countries which is a key strategic area for us," said Anton Artemiev, senior vice president for Carlsberg Eastern Europe. "With Corona our portfolio will get a unique brand that has a well defined and strong growth potential."

Ricardo Mattos, Modelo's CEO for Europe, added: "We have a longstanding and excellent relationship with Carlsberg, and we perceive this cooperation to be a cornerstone in driving the growth of our Corona brand even further."

The nine new countries in the Carlsberg Modelo deal are: Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Moldova.