Molson Coors agrees joint venture with Cobra India23rd June, 2011 by Gabriel Savage
Molson Coors Brewing Company has announced a US$35 million joint venture with Cobra India, which licenses the firm to brew and market Cobra beer in the booming South Asian market.
The agreement sees Molson Coors buy a controlling stake in Cobra India, taking operational control of the newly formed Molson Coors Cobra India. The joint venture will be chaired by Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra and chairman of the UK’s Cobra Beer Partnership.
Molson Coors’ investment also covers additional capital to fund future expansion plans of the brewery operations.
Kandy Anand, president of Molson Coors International, described the deal as “the beginning of a long-term commitment to establish Molson Coors in India, the world’s fastest growing beer market.
“Our first step will be to work with Cobra India’s employees, customers and suppliers to consolidate the business.”
The Indian beer market is currently growing at an annual rate of 12%, reaching a brewing capacity of 27m hectolitres this year. This is expected to increase to 50m hectolitres by 2020, putting the country among the world’s top 10 beer markets.
This latest move builds on a similar joint venture set up in 2009 between Molson Coors UK and Cobra Beer, the Cobra Beer Partnership, which secured the rights to the brand outside South Asia.
Referring to this new deal as: “another step towards realising my dream of brewing the finest Indian beer ever while creating a global beer brand”, Lord Bilimoria explained: “The joint venture combines the entrepreneurial heritage and spirit of Cobra with the industry know-how, size and scale of Molson Coors and builds on a relationship that is already realising its potential in the UK and worldwide.”
The joint venture will have its headquarters in Mumbai, with operations led by the company’s president, Ravi Kaza. Dr S. Cariapa, the original brewer of Cobra been has also been confirmed as a member of the management team.
Gabriel Savage, 23.06.2011