Japanese brewing conglomerate Kirin is planning to increase its investment in Bira substantially.
The conversations are at a “final stage” for Kirin to invest a further 70 million USD in the Indian craft brewery, according to Reuters, at a valuation of $450 million.
The investment will reportedly elevate the Japanese firm’s share of ownership in the Indian craft beer maker to 15%.
Asia Brewers Network has reported on Kirin’s earlier investment in Bira in 2021, which provided a much-needed shot in the arm for the Indian craft brewery hit badly by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
The move by Kirin comes as the firm faces structural decline on the homefront with declining alcohol consumption in Japan and more critical immediate challenges in their overseas ventures, notably having to sell been forced to sell down their stake in their joint venture with the Myanmar military after arbitration failed.
Besides India’s booming growth in craft beer, Kirin’s investment logic may be underlined by Bira’s recent positive performance. In Q2 2022, according to internal company documents sighted by Reuters, Bira’s revenue and beer production had superseded pre-COVID levels.
For Bira, the proposed investment will help with domestic brewing & sales expansion – a particular challenge in India with hundreds of millions of drinkers spread across states with varying alcohol production & distribution rules.