UB group eyeing more overseas acquisitions
Our Corporate Bureau
05 July 2006
The group is understood to have submitted a bid for the Indian and Vietnamese operations of Australian beer giant Fosters. These businesses, including distilleries and marketing networks, were put on the block after Fosters found it difficult to grow in the face of still local competition. UB has reportedly submitted a bid of around $250 million.
Fosters launched its beer in India in the late '90s but has a limited presence in the country. The brand is nowhere near the market leader Kingfisher, marketed by UB. Other foreign liquor companies like SAB Miller have been much more successful than Fosters and are expanding their presence in India. UB has a tie-up with European liquor major Scottish & Newcastle for the beer business.
The UB group is the leading contender to acquire a small French wine company, Bouvet-Ladubay. UB has reportedly quoted $15 million for the wine maker. If successful, this would be UB's first foray into the international premium wine market.
Bouvet-Ladubay is a part of French champagne major Tattinger, which was sold by a US based private equity company to a consortium led by French bank Credit Agricole. UB had also bid for Tattinger, but withdrew on resistance from employees of Tattinger and French politicians.