Cobra Beer has delayed its plans for a stock market flotation but said it has raised GBP27.5m (US$50.1m) to fund expansion in key markets worldwide.

The UK-based company said today (17 July) that the cash would be used to accelerate growth at home and in India while developing other export markets including South Africa.

Cobra said in January that it would embark on winning financial support for its listing on London's AIM, which had been slated for 2008.

However, Cobra founder and chief executive Lord Bilimoria said the cash it had raised would help it meet its goal of building a global beer brand.

He said: "We have the funds we need for our medium-term development and have ambitious plans to build on the current success of Cobra Beer to reach our goal."

Lord Bilimoria founded Cobra in 1989 and has built the brand to become the biggest supplier of lager to curry houses in the UK. Cobra is also brewed in Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and India, a market where the company is looking to expand.

The company has already struck a licensing deal with local brewer Mount Shivalik to produce the Cobra brand and said it is planning to gain a foothold in other parts of India.