Japan’s Kirin Holdings is investing $30 million in the manufacturer of Indian craft beer Bira 91, marking its first venture in the country.
According to Reuters, the investment was made in New Delhi-based B9 Beverages – the manufacturer and parent company of Bira 91 – as Kirin looks to secure a position in India’s growing craft beer market amid falling sales in its home market.
As part of the deal, Kirin will acquire a stake of under 10% in B9 Beverages, a Kirin spokesman and Bira 91 CEO Ankur Jain told Reuters.
Established in 2015, Bira 91 claims to offer a 5-10% share of the beer market in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Sources suggest the Indian brewer is currently valued at around $300 million.
Back in 2018, the craft beer company received $50 million in a funding round led by Belgian investment firm Sofina, enabling it to expand its production capacity and enter new markets such as Singapore.
The news comes after Reuters reported that B9 Beverages had been in talks with international brewers to sell up to a 20% in the company, back in August. A further 10% stake in B9 may still be sold to financial investors.
According to Reuters, the investment will allow Bira 91 to break even in the 2022 fiscal year, following recent losses and a negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The companies will be exploring business synergies,” said CEO of Bira, Ankur Jain, as cited by Reuters. He added that the investment would allow Bira to accelerate plans to launch its products in Japan later this year.
Following the deal, US-based Sequoia Capital will continue to hold an approximate 45% stake in Bira 91, while CEO Jain and his family will own around 30%.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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