Karan Bilimoria to stay with Cobra Beer

May 30th, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 30 (IANS) Indian-origin entrepreneur Karan Bilimoria is to stay involved with Cobra Beer as its chairman after setting up a joint venture with an American brewer Friday to save the financially troubled company, a media report said.
Molson Coors acquired the brand in Britain, where Cobra Beer is sold in 6,000 restaurants, mostly Indian curry outlets, The Times reported Saturday.

The new joint venture, Cobra Beer Partnership, has acquired the Cobra brand and certain assets in Britain and will produce and market the beer.

Molson Coors will pay 14 million pounds for a 50.1 percent stake, with Bilimoria owning 49.9 percent and remaining chairman.

The Cobra business in India, which is not included in the deal, will be refinanced.

Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said the company ran into difficulties in the economic downturn and the deal was the “best outcome” for Cobra Beer.

Reports suggest Cobra Beer racked up losses of nearly 16 million pounds last year.

Bilimoria founded Cobra Beer in 1989 after coming to study law at Cambridge University, and being disappointed with the fizzy lagers served in Indian restaurants.

Analysts believe Cobra’s decline is linked to falling sales of beer in Britain in the last two years.

Molson Coors’ beers include Carling, Coors Light, Grolsch and Sol.

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