Cobra Beer enters into two new bottling acquisitions

The UK-based Cobra Beer is expanding its Indian operations and has entered into two new strategic bottling alliances with Bangalore-based, Khoday India and the Andhra Pradesh-based Artos Brewery, owned by the Mohan Meakin family and its associates.

Cobra will source 50,000 cases each from these two units monthly to cater to the large and growing market in South India. In January, Cobra acquired its first brewery in India when it bought majority stake in the Patna-based Iceberg Industries.

Cobra is looking to strengthen its foothold in southern Indian market, which accounts for 50 per cent sales of the overall domestic beer consumption, through these two deals.

The company has set a target to increase its sales volume to 15 million beer cases annually by 2012 in India. Cobra reported volume sales of about 3 million cases (of 7.8 litre each) in FY08.

Cobra Beer has signed a few bottling tie-ups, which has made the cumulative available brewing capacity to about 6 million cases annually.

The Cobra brand has effected a packaging change with the black label being replaced by a burgundy one.

Cobra Beer is a British beer company founded in 1989 by NRI millionaire, Lord Karan Bilimoria. In 2004, the company started operations in India through a bottling alliance with Mount Shivalik Group, kicking off market operations in Delhi, and expanded into other states such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh.