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HomeNEWSBira 91 acquires The Beer Cafe in all-stock deal

Bira 91 acquires The Beer Cafe in all-stock deal

Domestic premium beermaker Bira 91 has acquired India’s largest alcobev chain, The Beer Cafe, in an all-stock deal that will make the pub chain a fully-owned subsidiary of Bira 91. Investors in The Beer Cafe – including promoters Rahul and Bineeta Singh, Mayfield, Granite Hill and RB Investments – will get shares of Bira 91.

Bira 91 will get a retail presence through The Beer Cafe’s 33 outlets, while the pub chain gets the beer company’s support in innovations and supply chain.

“The deal will enable Bira 91 to strengthen its play in pubs and build a direct-to-consumer platform focused on beer,” its chief executive Ankur Jain told ET.

Team Stays On

He said Bira 91 aims to accelerate the growth of beer culture in India and deepen consumers’ beer experience with this acquisition.

The Beer Cafe’s management team, led by founder and chief executive Rahul Singh, will continue to lead its operations and will also take up responsibility of Bira 91’s newly formed restaurant division. This is being scaled up as large-format, craft beer-focused stores under the brand name Bira 91 Taproom. Singh said The Beer Cafe will continue to sell a variety of beers at its outlets. “Bira 91 will continue to invest in beer innovation and efficient supply chain. This will grow our own capabilities, along with talent and scale. Also, the group will take care of all support functions, which will give me sharper focus to expand Beer Cafe,” he said.

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Beer Cafe has 33 outlets in 15 cities across key locations, including malls, high streets and transit hubs. Singh said The Beer Cafe did not shut down any outlets during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that stores only had to close temporarily in states where lockdowns had been imposed.

Bira 91’s existing investors include Sequoia Capital India, Sofina of Belgium and Kirin Holding of Japan. It reported revenues of ₹428.2 crore in 2020-21, according to regulatory filings. The company, which was set up in 2015, is present in over 500 towns and 15 countries. It brews its beers across four breweries in India, according to information on its website.

Beer in Demand

The acquisition comes at a time when dining out is seeing double-digit growth, having reversed sharply from pandemic-induced curbs and intermittent shutdowns of bars and restaurants.

The beer market in India reached $4.3 billion in 2020, and after a pandemic-induced decline in 2021, reverted to pre-Covid numbers. It is projected to breach the $10-billion level by 2027. “Growth of the Indian beer market can be attributed to the burgeoning demand for diverse beer brands, together with the country’s growing and young workforce adopting low alcoholic beverages,” Singh said.

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