Asia Pacific Brewery to invest USD 50 mn in India

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Mumbai, Oct 4 (UNI) Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), a USD 2.5 billion company, today said that it will invest USD 50 million to set up three breweries in India.

The aggregate investment for the acquisition will be funded through a combination of internal resources and external borrowings.

The Company entered Indian beer market recently with its flagship product 'Baron' in the premium strong beer segment which contributes two thirds of beer volumes in the country. APB's corporate brands include Tiger, Anchor and Baron's Strong Brew.

APB has acquired an initial 76 per cent stake in Aurangabad Breweries (AUBL) which owns two breweries in Maharashtra and Goa.

The Company is also setting up a greenfield brewery in Hyderabad with an initial investment of USD 20 mn. APB in total has 35 breweries in 12 countries.

APB Chief Executive Officer Vivek Chhabra said, ''In the last 16 years, our focus was mainly on South-East Asia, Indo-China, Australasia and China. As our breweries in these markets have shown good growth, it is timely that we look beyond our current markets and set our sights on South Asia for our next wave of regionalisation.'' ''While our investment in AUBL represents our second foray in South Asia, after our entry into Sri Lanka last year, it marks our first footprint in India. The investment is a continuation of our growth strategy to venture into emerging markets to capitalise on the inherent growth potential of emerging economies,'' Mr Chhabra added.

While India is one of the world's largest markets for spirits, it ranks near the bottom among the beer guzzling nations. The total beer market in India is around 8 million hectolitres per annum, and this translates into a per capita consumption of less than 1 litre. The low per capita consumption signifies the growth opportunity in a country with a population of more than 1 billion. Beer sales have been forecast to grow in India at 18 per cent CAGR till 2011.


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