September 13, 2011 / 2:37 PM / in 7 years

United Breweries to manufacture Heineken beer in India

Bottles of Heineken beer are displayed before a news conference in London January 25, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - United Breweries Ltd (UBL), owned-by billionaire Vijay Mallya, said on Tuesday it will manufacture global beer brand Heineken in India and increase its distribution in the country.

United Breweries plans to manufacture the premium beer from its Taloja plant located near Mumbai.

UBL, which signed an agreement in 2009 with Netherlands-based Heineken Group for manufacture and distribution of Heineken beer in India, has already launched it Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi.

“Heineken is a brand image and profitability driver for the UB group not really a volume driver... In the next 18-24 months Heineken will be present in the 20 major cities in the country,” Samar Singh Sheikhawat, senior vice-president, marketing told Reuters.

“In two years from now Heinken is expected to have 5 percent market share of the premium mild beer industry in the markets where it is available,” he added.

Heineken had indirectly acquired a 37.5 percent stake in UBL following its worldwide takeover of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) in January, 2008.

Shares of United Breweries, which have fallen 22 percent compared to a 20 percent fall in the main index since the start of the year, ended 3.54 percent down at 394.1 rupees in a weak Mumbai market on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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