Cobra Beer,which has been facing mounting losses,has been bought over by UK’s Molson Coors,one of top brewers in the world by volume,in a joint venture deal with its NRI-founder Karan Bilimoria.
Revealing the “pre-pack” deal with Molson Coors,Bilimoria said on Friday night Cobra Beer’s Indian business would be an independent company which would be wholly owned and financed by its shareholders.
The new JV would be owned 50.1 per cent by Molson Coors and 49.9 per cent by the new company controlled by Bilimoria,who would be its Chairman.
“While I am happy about the joint venture as it would have enormous global growth potential… (the JV) is a fabulous opportunity. It is a long-term proposition and instantly the company can double its profit.”
Molson has put in 14 million pounds to pay off Cobra’s secured creditors and will now win control of a debt-free business that Lord Bilimoria tried to sell last year for as much as 200 million pounds.
Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said: “The company had run into financial difficulties in the economic downturn.” According to reports,Cobra Beer had posted a loss of 16 million pounds last year.
Cobra Beer,outside India,would now be jointly run by Molson Coors and a new company — Cobra Beer Partnership Ltd — controlled by Lord Bilimoria.
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