Carlsberg Breweries ends joint venture with Chang Beverages

Carlsberg Breweries A/S has decided not to continue its joint venture with its Thai partner, Chang Beverages Pte. Ltd., after the two sides failed to resolve their disagreement regarding the joint venture, Carlsberg Asia Pte Ltd.      The Danish brewer announced on August 1 that it has on the same day notified Chang Beverages Pte. Ltd. about the termination, and that Carlsberg Asia would remain a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carlsberg Breweries.      Under the scrapped joint venture agreement, Carlsberg Breweries holds 50 per cent of Carlsberg Asia, while Chang Beverages – a Singapore-based subsidiary of Beer Thai (1991) Co., Ltd. of Thai liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi – holds the remainder.      “We have terminated the joint venture amongst other things because we are under the distinct impression that the character of the companies which Chang Beverages were to transfer to Carlsberg Asia does not correspond with what was agreed upon and that the value of these are disproportionate to the assets which Carlsberg Breweries has transferred to Carlsberg Asia,” said Nils S. Andersen, President and Group Executive Officer of Carlsberg Breweries.      When the joint venture company was set up on January 1, 2001, Carlsberg contributed all of its Asian interests (both shareholdings and licensed activities) while Chang Beverages was supposed to add its 49 per cent interest in Carlsberg Brewery (Thailand) Co., Ltd.      “Carlsberg Breweries has spent much time and many resources trying to establish a dialogue with Chang Beverages, however, the management of Carlsberg Breweries no longer believes that it is possible to establish a constructive cooperation on a reasonable basis and therefore we have decided to terminate the joint venture,” said Andersen.      The Danish brewer late June announced that it was replacing directors appointed by Chang Beverages to Carlsberg Asia with its nominees in order to protect its interests. Chang Beverages on the same day threatened to sue its Danish partner over the matter.      Any litigation in connection with the termination of the joint venture shall be settled by arbitration in London, Carlsberg Breweries said on August 1.      Despite the end of the joint venture, it is quite clear that Carlsberg’s business in Asia will continue.      “We are still convinced that Asia holds positive development possibilities, and that there is a major potential for the Carlsberg brand in the region,” the president of the world’s fifth-largest brewer emphasized.      Carlsberg has sold its beer throughout Asia for more than a century. Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia has a market share of more than 60 per cent. In Singapore, the Carlsberg has a position as number two in the total market and number one imported premium brand with a market share of around 65 per cent.      The company’s beer is brewed in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Related story:  “Carlsberg production in Thailand continues”

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