Vietnam agreement highlights Carlsberg's expansion aims

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carlsberg

Danish Brewer Carlsberg hopes that a memorandum of understanding
with a soon to be privatised Vietnamese rival, will allow it to
make further inroads into the dynamic market for beer in the

The state-owned Hanoi Beer Company (Habeco), the country's second largest brewer, recently announced plans to begin operating this year as a privatised company, offering a potentially lucrative investment for foreign brewers.

The announcement is particularly exciting for Carlsberg, which has already established links with Habeco for a possible partnership in the country.

The company views Vietnam as a driving force in the development of the region's beer market.

Expected average annual growth for beer production in Vietnam is around eight per cent, according to Carlsberg's own figures.

This the company expects will see beer sales in the country - which totalled 15.2m hectolitres in 2006, rise to 28.1m hectolitres by 2015, making the market the third largest in Asia.

Under the terms of the privatisation, the Vietnamese government will retain a 76 per cent stake of Habeco, with the remaining 24 per cent distributed between staff and investors.

Of this 24 per cent share, only 10 per cent will be available for purchase by a strategic business partner, leaving Carlsberg at best with the potential of a minority stake in the group.

Jens Peter Skaarup, Carlsberg's international spokesperson, told​ that the company was prepared for a gradual approach to expanding its operations within the country, and would persevere with its plans.

"It doesn't surprise us that the privatising of Habeco will take place step by step. Actually, that's what we expected."

Related topics: Carlsberg, Markets

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