INDIA: UB snatches Associated Breweries from under SAB's nose
United Breweries has acquired a 65% stake in Mumbai-based Associated Breweries & Distillers (ABD), the manufacturer of London Pilsner beer, for Rs50 crore ($11m).The deal comes only two months after South African Breweries (SAB) came close to buying ABD, according to the Indian press. One source said: "With this acquisition, UB has put in place a defence against possible invasion of the western India market by SAB which has already made its presence felt in North India by taking over Narang Industry's brewery."The deal is a strategic acquisition for UB, who are currently preparing for the anticipated increase in competition in India, as the market liberalises, by consolidating its number one position.UB has also acquired through the deal the exclusive licensing for the manufacture of Philippine beer brand San Miguel, the exclusive rights for which are currently held by ABD.UB group chairman Vijay Mallya said: "I am delighted both professionally and personally that UB was able to conclude a transaction with the Irani family who own ABD, and who did a wonderful job establishing London Pilsner and several other brands of beer."He went on to say that the transaction took only three weeks from the date of offer until the date of closure.ABD's sales last year in Maharashtra were valued at over Rs 35 crore. Besides London Pilsner, its brands incude London Diet, Maharaja Premium and San Miguel which are manufactured at its brewery in Thane.
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