Bira Talking to Foreign Beer Makers About Possible Stake Sale: CEO
India’s B9 Beverages, maker of popular craft beer Bira, is in talks with international brewers and investors to sell a stake of up to 20% in the company, its chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.
“We’ve been looking for a combination: (an) international beer company as a strategic investor and a separate financial partner,” CEO Ankur Jain said in a phone interview, adding that the company was in the “intermediate stage” of raising funds.
“We’ve been talking to beer companies that are not competitive in India or have minimal operations in India.”
Data provider PitchBook estimates New Delhi-based Bira was valued at $210 million in 2018. U.S.-based Sequoia Capital holds a roughly 45% stake in the company, while CEO Jain and his family own around 30%.
Jain declined to name the companies with which it is in talks, but four industry sources said Bira had been in talks with Kirin Holdings, one of Japan’s biggest beer makers which has limited sales in India.
A Kirin spokesman said there was “absolutely no discussion at the moment” on taking a stake in Bira. Last week Kirin cut its full-year profit outlook due to the COVID-19 impact and said it would avoid “non-essential” investments.
A Kirin source said the company sees India as a growth market and that it has looked at Bira, but that it was part of a broader study into global markets.
One of the Indian industry sources said that Bira and Kirin had discussed a deal which would also allow the Japanese brewer to offer its brands directly - which include Kirin Lager and Ichiban Shibori - in India’s estimated $7 billion beer market.
Kirin has in the past shown interest in independent breweries and owns a minority stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.
Bira, launched in 2015, is one of the smallest players in India, but its craft beer offerings have become increasingly popular. Jain said Bira had a 5-10% share of the beer market in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
India’s beer market is dominated by companies like United Breweries, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Carlsberg, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
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By Neha Mule
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.