Mumbai: India’s largest beer maker, United Breweries Ltd (UB), has reached a deal to bottle and distribute Heineken NV brands in the country, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday.
UB, in which the Dutch brewer acquired a 37.5% holding last year, will also get a one-time fee of Rs300 crore after settling differences over the role of Heineken in the Indian company, the newspaper said.
Heineken had got the UB holding following a takeover with Carlsberg AS of the Indian brewer’s erstwhile partner, Scottish and Newcastle.
“We confirm that we are in dialogue with Heineken,” a spokesman for the UB group said. He offered no further comments and said an announcement would be made when appropriate.
The deal will see UB adding two premium beers, Heineken and Tiger, to its portfolio and will help it weather increasing competition from international beer makers, the paper said.
UB sells the popular Kingfisher brand and has at least half of the Indian beer market.
The local operations of Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken’s Singapore affiliate, is likely to be brought under the UB fold leading to a consolidation of the two companies’ beer operations in India, the newspaper said.
Shares in UB rose 5% to Rs122.55 in a Mumbai market that rose 4.1%.