Cobra is to float as part of aggressive growth plans designed to create a US$1bn company within the next ten years.

The UK-based company will seek pre-IPO funding later this year and plans to more than double its sales in the next two years before a probable flotation on AIM in 2008.

Cobra finance director Dynshaw Italia told just-drinks today (10 January) that Cobra had an estimated value of GBP80m (US$141.4m), but would seek funding of GBP20m to invest in key markets, the UK, US, India and South Africa.

He said Cobra was likely to have a market capitalisation of around GBP200m at flotation and would aim to become a US$1bn business by 2014.

Italia said the UK was likely to be Cobra's fastest-growing market in the next two to three years, but predicted that India would be "huge within four to five years".

Cobra last month said that it was in talks to build a brewery in India, in the city of Hyderabad, which would be its second brewing venture in the country. Last year, Cobra joined forces with local independent brewer Mount Shivalik, which brews Cobra under contract.