Interbrew, the Belgian brewing giant, today announced that its UK subsidiary plans to outsource its secondary distribution operations in the UK to Tradeteam, the specialist drinks distribution arm of Exel.

The decision by Interbrew UK follows a strategic review of logistics operations in the UK and will result in focusing on its core sales, marketing and brewing activities, the company said in a statement.

It is intended that all secondary distribution operations and approximately 1500 personnel will transfer to Tradeteam as part of the deal. Interbrew UK will retain in-house its existing, brewery based, primary distribution facilities.

"The proposed agreement between Interbrew UK and Tradeteam enhanced distribution capabilities across all trade sectors and will contribute towards significant business performance efficiencies in the UK," the statement said.

The deal with Tradeteam is subject to regulatory approval and there will be a full process of consultation with affected Interbrew UK employees before any transfer commences.

Stewart Gilliland, chief executive of Interbrew UK and Ireland said: "The delivery requirements of our customers are subject to ongoing change. In Exel's Tradeteam we believe we have a specialist distribution partner who is best placed to service these needs. Tradeteam is already recognised as a quality service provider and, in combining our operations with theirs, will be able to offer our customers a first class service into the future."

To cover the purely financial impact of this transaction, Interbrew said it will take a one off charge amounting to €59 million against the 2002 first half year results.