12/15/2000 8:00 

The Danish Carlsberg A/S ("Carlsberg") has signed an agreement with the Asian Chang Beverage Company to form Carlsberg Asia Ltd. ("Carlsberg Asia"), a 50-50 joint venture that will administrate and develop the companies' marketing and brewing activities in the Asian region.

The new joint venture will provide an excellent platform for further growth of the Carlsberg brand and improve earnings and cash flow in a fast expanding market.

Carlsberg Asia will have a pro-forma net turnover of approximately USD 770 million in the first year of operation. The pro-forma profits of the joint venture after tax are expected to be approximately USD 100 million in the year 2001.

Carlsberg Asia will, through its own breweries and licensed operations, brew 17 million hectolitres of beer in its first year of operation. Carlsberg beer is expected to represent 2 million of this volume.

The new company will be established on January 1, 2001 with the head office in Singapore. Carlsberg will contribute all of its Asian interests (both shareholdings and licensed activities) while Chang Beverage Company will contribute its 49% interest in Carlsberg Brewery (Thailand) Co. Ltd.

Chang Beverage Company, which is headquartered in Singapore, is an investor in breweries and distilleries in Asia.

Carlsberg's new partners include the leading Thai liquor producer, Khun Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi. Khun Charoen controls one of the world's biggest distillery groups with annual sales of 100 million cases of liquor products. The combined turnover of Khun Charoen's liquor and brewery goods is close to USD 2 billion.

Carlsberg Asia's new partners bring to the joint venture a considerable experience in the Asian business world which adds value to Carlsberg's more than 100 years of presence in the region.

The nominal share capital of Carlsberg Asia will be USD400 million. It is the intention of Carlsberg and Chang Beverage Company to float Carlsberg Asia on a major stock exchange at an opportune time (three to four years).

In connection with the establishment of the new company, Carlsberg will sell its 10% interest in the Thai breweries for USD 147 million.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Carlsberg will focus on developing its brands in the dynamic Asian market through a fully-controlled sales and distribution network covering the entire region.

Carlsberg Asia, together with its partners, plans to build up a new and dynamic brewery and distillery group producing and selling an exclusive range of products, including its Thai partners' best selling Thai beer, Beer Chang, throughout Asia.

Carlsberg Asia will be the responsibility of Michael C. Iuul, Carlsberg Group Managing Director.

"Carlsberg has a long tradition of involvement in the region," said Michael C. Iuul. "Historically, there has been only a few Asian markets with significant beer consumption. But today, the situation is changing. Asia is the fastest growing market for beer in the world. Carlsberg Asia will seriously strengthen our presence in the region."

Carlsberg brands are particularly strong in South-east Asia. Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia has a market share of more than 60%. In Singapore, Carlsberg has a position as number two in the total market and number one imported premium brand with a market share of around 65%.

Carlsberg Asia's two biggest markets will be Thailand and South Korea, which together will represent 85% of the expected volume brewed.

Carlsberg is thus brewed by company breweries or licensees in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

An information meeting will be held on Monday, December 18 at 13:00 at Carlsberg A/S, Ny Carlsberg Vej 100, Copenhagen.

Further information
Margrethe Skov
Public Affairs Manager
Carlsberg A/S
+45 33 27 14 10