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2 international beer giants plan India foray

By Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai
January 22, 2004 10:30 IST
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Two international beer giants are heading for the Indian market. After snapping ties with the UB Group, the Philippines-based San Miguel Corporation is re-entering the Indian beer market through an alliance with Anchor Beverages.

Anchor will also be marketing the Jenlain beer brand from the France-based Duieck stable. Budweiser, the US beer from Anheuser-Busch, is also looking at entering India.

Confirming the development, PK Das, managing director of Anchor Beverages, said, "We have entered into a exclusive distribution and marketing tie-up for selling the San Miguel and Jenlain beer brands in the country."

The company is also understood to be in talks to market Budweiser, but Anchor declined to confirm this till the deal was inked.

The import and distribution arrangement with San Miguel and Jenlein is for a period of seven years. Under the open general licence, Anchor will be importing and selling these brands in India and they will be priced at Rs 35 for a 330 ml can and Rs 50 for a 500 ml can.

San Miguel was earlier being sold in India by the Zinia Lawyer-controlled Associated Breweries as it had a exclusive manufacturing and marketing licence from the Philippine company.

However, with liquor baron Vijay Mallya acquiring a majority stake along with management control of Associated Breweries, the contract for marketing San Miguel was not renewed.

Leading global brands like Heineken, Oranjeboom, Corona have already entered India through distribution tie-ups.

The Indian beer market is estimated to be over 6.7 million hecto litres and the beer market is growing by about 7 per cent annually.

Currently the Indian beer sector is dominated by two players -- the UB -Scottish and Newcastle combine, and the SABMiller-Shaw Wallace combine.

The other foreign player is Australia's Fosters. According to analysts, the entry of foreign brands is because of the attractive growth rates and margins in the Indian beer industry.
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Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai

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