United Breweries' (UB) flagship brand 'Kingfisher' will make an entry in Malaysia by January 2000. The company has signed an import agreement to this effect with Agate Group, Malaysia.
Vijay Mallya controlled UB Group manufactures beer, stout, brewer's yeast, etc. It also trades in various products such as beer, batteries, processed fruits, vegetable products & liquors, marine products and chemicals. 'McDowell', the group flagship company, is India's largest spirits company with a portfolio of nearly 50 brands with major presence in all product categories. Overall the UB Group controls over 40% of Indian spirits market. The group also has a major international presence including markets in South Africa and the UK.
According to the agreement, Agate will initially import 30,000 litres of beer annually. The deal will give UB a foothold in the US$ 320 m Malaysian beer market, which is currently dominated by global brands like Tiger and Carlsberg. If the 'Kingfisher' brand catches on, then both the parties will extend the deal to other UB and McDowell products. This will also give a boost to UB's plans of becoming a top global spirits company.
Depending on the success rate of 'Kingfisher' launch, UB might even decide to set up manufacturing facilities in Malaysia. Even if the brand fails to make an impact in the Malaysian market then also it does not entail any financial loss for UB, as the import deal does not entail investments.
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