UK: SABMiller nears Mohan Meakin deal

By | 27 April 2006

SABMiller looks set to snap up a majority stake in Indian brewer Mohan Meakin - with a deal likely to be finalised by the start of June, just-drinks understands.

The London-listed brewing giant, which is India's second-largest beer maker, has long been considered the front-runner to strike a deal with Mohan Meakin.

The company, which holds around 8% of India's beer market, is looking to cede control of its beer business and is believed to have received expressions of interest from other global brewers, including Heineken and InBev.

However, just-drinks understands that SABMiller is set to strike a deal with Mohan Meakin, a transaction that would give it a direct brewing presence in the state of Tamil Nadu, one of the three largest in India in terms of beer consumption.

However, an SABMiller spokesman declined to comment when contacted by just-drinks today (27 April).

SABMiller, which owns 10 breweries throughout India, has a bottling agreement with Mohan Breweries in Tamil Nadu but does not have a direct brewing presence in the state. SABMiller is thought to control around 31% of India's beer market and the acquisition of Mohan Meakin would leave it hot on the heels of market leader, United Breweries.

Last year, SABMiller set aside US$125m to invest in India over the next five years to expand its business in the fast-growing beer market.

Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller, Heineken, InBev, United Breweries

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