MOLSON COORS AND COBRA INDIA ANNOUNCE INDIAN JOINT VENTURE TO BREW AND MARKET COBRA BEER IN SOUTH ASIA


Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX) and Cobra India announced today the formation of a joint venture that will brew and market Cobra beer in South Asia*.

Under the terms of the agreement, Molson Coors will purchase a controlling stake of Cobra India from two existing investors and will have operational control over the new Molson Coors Cobra India. The joint venture will be chaired by Lord Karan Bilimoria, Cobra’s founder and chairman of the Cobra Beer Partnership in the UK. Molson Coors will also be investing additional capital in Molson Coors Cobra India to meet the working capital requirements and the future expansion plans of the brewery operations. The total investment by Molson Coors is approximately $35 million.

Kandy Anand, President, Molson Coors International commented, “This deal marks 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. Longer-term, our ambition is to build this compelling brand and grow the business to a meaningful market share as part of Molson Coors International’s strategy to achieve critical mass in high-growth emerging markets.”

Peter Swinburn, President and CEO of Molson Coors commented, “Our joint venture in India is an exciting opportunity for us to expand our footprint in Asia and represents the next major milestone in executing our global growth strategy. Over the past year, we have entered several new markets and I believe we are now in a much stronger position to leverage our experience and accelerate our international growth trajectory over the next few years.”

The capacity of the Indian brewing industry year ending March 2011 was just under 27 million hl and it has a per capita consumption of just under 1.5 litres. The Indian beer market is growing at 12% CAGR and is estimated to grow to 50 million hl by 2020, putting it in the top 10 beer markets globally.

The deal with Cobra India includes land, a 175,000 hl brewery in Bihar state, with potential to expand to 500,000hl, and a beer portfolio consisting of Cobra Premium, King Cobra Superior and Iceberg 9000.

In 2009, Molson Coors UK and Cobra Beer established a similar joint venture, the Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd, which secured world rights for the iconic beer outside of South Asia.

Lord Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beer said: “This deal continues Cobra’s exciting journey and is another step towards realising my dream of brewing the finest Indian beer ever while creating a global beer brand. 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. With an operational team combining decades of experience in the Indian brewing industry, we are very pleased to welcome all the new employees into Molson Coors’ global family.”

The joint venture will be headquartered in Mumbai. Operations will be led by Mr. Ravi Kaza, President, and the management team will also include Dr. S. Cariapa, the original brewer of Cobra Beer, regarded as one of the finest brewers in India.

- ENDS -

About Molson Coors Brewing Company
Molson Coors Brewing Company is a leading global brewer delivering extraordinary brands that delight the world’s beer drinkers. It brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Carling, Blue Moon, and Keystone Light across North America, Europe and Asia. It operates in Canada through Molson Coors Canada; in the U.S. through MillerCoors; and in the U.K. and Ireland through Molson Coors (UK & Ireland). For more information on Molson Coors Brewing Company and our portfolio of brands, visit the company's website, www.molsoncoors.com.

About Cobra Beer
Established in 1989 by Lord Karan Bilimoria, Cobra Beer is a multiple award winning, authentic Indian beer, brewed and crafted to be refreshingly smooth and full flavoured. First imported into the UK from Bangalore in 1990, Cobra Beer is now one of the internationally best known beer brands and is exported to countries across the globe, from Australia to Canada.

Cobra beers are also one of the most highly awarded. In the Monde Selection, one of the most prestigious quality awards in the world for beer, Cobra beers have been awarded a total of 55 Gold medals since 2001. 2011 is the 50th Anniversary of Monde Selection and this year Cobra was awarded 4 Gold medals for Cobra (bottle and keg), King Cobra and Cobra Zero.

 

 

For any further information, please contact:

India - Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Vaibhavi Parekh
Office: +91-022-44344148
Cell: +91-9833287008
E-mail: vaibhavi.parekh@ogilvy.com

Divyata Kalhans
Office: +91-22-44344139
Mobile: +91-9833106608
E-mail: divyata.kalhans@ogilvy.com

UK & US - Molson Coors

Molson Coors Corporate Press Office
E: molsoncoorscorporateteam@redconsultancy.com
T: +44 (0)207 025 6680

 

 

*Covering India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka