Houston: Anheuser-Busch International Inc, which has a portfolio of 40 beer brands including, Budweiser and Michelob, has entered into a joint venture with Crown Beers India Ltd. in a move that will give the US' largest brewer entry into the Indian beer market.
The 50:50 joint venture will operate under the name Crown Beers India Ltd. and will establish a new state-of-the-art 500,000-hectolitre brewery in Hyderabad, due to be completed in March this year.
The St. Louis-based company operates12 breweries in the United States where it holds a 48.8-per cent share of US beer sales. The company's global beer sales volume was 121.9 million barrels in 2005.
"International expansion is a key part of Anheuser-Busch's growth strategy, and while India is a small beer market today, it is growing rapidly and has tremendous long-term potential," August A. Busch IV, president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc, said.
"This joint venture with Crown brings the experience and skills of both companies together with a world-class brewery to introduce Budweiser to beer drinkers in India."
While India ranks low among the world beer markets at 8.2 million hectolitres, it has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 8 per cent for the past five years.
Anheuser-Busch was established in 1852. Its Budweiser brand, the largest selling beer brand in the US was introduced in 1876 and Michelob 20 years later in 1896. Today it is one of the largest US manufacturers of aluminium beverage containers and America's top recycler of aluminium cans.
The company also has interests in malt production, rice milling, real estate development, turf farming, metalised and paper label printing, bottle production and transportation.
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