The Indian subsidiary of SABMiller, MBL Investments (Mysore), has acquired the Shaw Wallace Group's 50% interest in the brewing operations of SABMiller's Indian joint-venture. Financial details were not released.

Mysore now owns 99% of the brewing operations with the balance of shares held by third party minority investors. These operations constitute India's second largest brewer.

The Indian joint-venture was formed in May 2003 through a strategic agreement between SABMiller's Mysore Breweries Limited and the Shaw Wallace Group. The brewing operations in India comprise 10 breweries which supply the whole country. Its key brands include Hayward's 5000, the leading beer brand in the rapidly-growing strong beer segment; Royal Challenge Premium Lager, the second-largest and fastest growing mild beer in the country; Knock-Out and Castle Lager.

In the year to the end of March 2005, the brewing operations increased volumes to 2.4m hectolitres, up 12% on the prior year. Upon completion of the transaction, the brewing operations had net assets of US$37m.

In a statement on Friday (27 May), André Parker, SABMiller's Africa & Asia managing director, said: "Beer consumption in India remains at around 1 litre per person per year, which compares to levels of around 20 litres in comparable developing markets. With a population in excess of 1bn, and GDP growth of over 6%, India has the economic potential to be a leading global beer market. SABMiller is well placed to benefit from this future growth and to participate in further Indian beer market consolidation."

SABMiller has operated in India since October 2000, when it bought the Narang Breweries, located near Lucknow, in the state of Uttar Pradesh.  In June 2001, SABMiller acquired a controlling interest in Mysore Breweries Limited. Subsequently Mysore Breweries Limited has made other acquisitions in other brewing operations in India and later in May 2003, Mysore Breweries Limited entered into a strategic 50:50 joint venture with the Shaw Wallace Group of India.