Our Bureau

New Delhi, July 17

Bullish on the Indian market, the Karan Bilimoria-promoted Cobra Beer Ltd on Monday said it would invest "several million pounds'' in the country out of the £27.5-million it had raised to fund expansion. The amount would partly fund the company's planned greenfield facility in Hyderabad, work on which will start next year.

Cobra Beer, meanwhile, has sealed licensing agreements with three breweries in India, which would take its total beer brewing capacity to four million cases a year.

"India is an absolutely crucial market for us and we expect a significant proportion of the £27.5-million that we raised to be invested there," said the Cobra Beer Chief Executive, Mr Karan Bilimoria. The company said it would invest about £13 million in both the Indian and UK markets.

Asked about the company's new brewery partners in India, Mr Bilimoria said, "We will in a month or two make an announcement but these are licensing agreements with companies located at different regions.'' Cobra Beer is now brewed for the local market under licence by Mount Shivalik, which is based in Rajasthan.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 18, 2006)
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