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Carlsberg plans local IPO for Indian business to tap growing beer market

Crystal Tse, George Smith Alexander, Anto Antony &/ 14 Jun 18 | 12:20 AM

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Carlsberg A/S is planning a local initial public offering of its Indian business, people with knowledge of the matter said, as it seeks to tap the growing middle class’s increasing thirst for foreign beer.

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The Danish brewer is interviewing potential arrangers for the share sale over the next few weeks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

India’s beer market is expected to grow to $10.7 billion by 2020, up from $8.6 billion last year, according to Euromonitor International.

Carlsberg ranks third in the country with a 13.7 percent market share, the research firm’s data show. It trails Kingfisher owner United Breweries, which has 39.2 percent, and Budweiser parent Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, which has 23.3 percent.

ALSO READ: Carlsberg's Karnataka brewery to have annual capacity of 80 mn litres

Carlsberg may be attracted by the high valuations in the Indian stock market, where United Breweries trades at about 73 times this year’s estimated earnings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Shares of the Bengaluru-based company have risen 62 percent over the past 12 months, outpacing the 15 percent gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. Diageo Plc’s local unit, whisky producer United Spirits, trades at 63 times forecast profit.

Any deal will add to the $3.9 billion raised through IPOs in India this year, up from $2.2 billion during the same period in 2017, Bloomberg-compiled data show.

Exact details of Carlsberg’s potential India offering haven’t been set yet, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for Carlsberg declined to comment.


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