Molson Coors International, a wholly-owned of the American firm, has acquired controlling stake in the Punjab-based firm gaining access to various popular brands, including the leading strong-beer brand, Thunderbolt.

As part of the transaction, Molson Coors assumes direct control over brewing operations of Mount Shivalik Breweries Ltd (MSBL) in Haryana and Punjab, as well as distribution for Thunderbolt in Bihar.

"India is the fastest growing market and we want to grow as much as possible. It's our strategy to establish presence in the country state by state," Molson Coors International President & Chief Executive Officer Kandy Anand told media.
     
The acquisition of MSBL will help us expand presence in northern markets, including Punjab and Haryana, he added. A privately held form, MSBL hasn't made its turnover public. It has two breweries - one in Haryana with a capacity of 0.25 million HL and the other one at Bankarpur, Punjab, with a capacity of 0.35 million HL.
     
In 2010, the company launched canned beer after a can packing facility with capacity of 21,000 cans per hour was set up in Bankarpur Brewery in Punjab.
     
Anand did not disclose financial details of the deal but added that all required regulatory approvals for the transaction have been received.
     
"With the added brewing capacity, increased distribution channels, as well as the passion and skill of MSBL employees, we believe the strategic benefits of this transaction are abundant and clear," Anand said.

Rajiv Bali, Managing Director of MSBL, will continue on the board of the company as Chairman Emeritus, he added.
     
Bali said: "Together with Molson Coors, we will have a powerful combination of industry leading brewing expertise, brand reach and operational efficiency that will allow us to grow our brands even further in India."

MSBL will be headquartered in Chandigarh and operate as a separate entity from Molson Coors Cobra with a separate governing board. The MSBL leadership team will be led by Ravi Kaza, the
company said.
     
"We are excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring for Molson Coors India. It is in line with our strategy to grow our regional brand portfolio," Molson Coors Cobra India President Ravi Kaza said.

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