New Delhi: Faced with a clash of interest with Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) bringing competing products into India, UB Group is pressing for a resolution of the issue with Dutch-based Heineken NV, the single largest shareholder in both companies.
“The competition position with Asia Pacific Breweries does need resolution and this will also be on the agenda for discussion (with Heineken),” UB Group chief financial officer Nedungadi told PTI.
On the possibility of UB working out a deal under which both companies can do business in India, Nedungadi said, “It is important for both sides to agree on the best way to address the Indian market effectively with all brands owned and controlled by both corporations.”
Heineken officials confirmed the two groups were in talks to sort out the issue.
“At present, we are talking to both, our joint venture in India (APB) and also to UB Group to find a satisfactory solutions for future operations in India,” a Heineken NV spokesperson said but declined to give further details.
UB has been objecting to Singapore-based APB — a joint-venture between Heineken and Fraser & Neave — recently launching its flagship ‘Tiger’ beer in India, which competes directly with UB’s ‘Kingfisher’.
Heineken holds 37.5% in United Breweries, following the acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) for $7.8 billion earlier this year by it and Carlsberg jointly. The Dutch company is also the largest shareholder in ABP with 42.5% stake.
On reports about a possible sale of stake in the United Breweries by the UB Group, Nedungadi said “There has not been any talk of stake sale by either side”.