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AUSTRALIA: Acquisition possible as Foster's continues expansion in India

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Foster's, the Australian brewing giant, continues to gear up for a greater push in its Indian operations. The push could include outright acquisitions, long-term brewing contracts or the development of more greenfield facilities of its own.

India's The Economic Times, reported that the launch of Foster's beer in Pondicherry on Monday marked the entry of the brand into south India. The move is the beginning of plans to move further south and north from its current markets of Goa, Darman and Diu.

The company has been operating in India for more than two years and Foster's has achieved a third share of the lager market in the regions it operates in.

Pradeep Gidwani, managing director of Foster's India said: "Pondicherry is our entry vehicle in the South. We are exploring all options to expand both in south and north and will launch Foster's in Delhi this month."

The Economic Times said Foster's should enter all southern states in the next few months. The south accounts for 40% of the 70m cases a year Indian beer market, which continues to grow at 10%-12% every year.

Gidwani said: "In India we have been creating a new segment for ourselves by positioning Foster's as a top-quality premium international beer and available at extremely attractive prices for the Indian consumers."

He went on to confirm the company would need new levels of capacity in order to serve its expansionist plans. He said Foster's was in talks with breweries. "The idea is to have two breweries in the south as well as one in the north," he said.


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