Japan’s Kirin Holdings invests $30 million in Indian craft beer brand Bira 91

Today, Kirin Holdings the Japanese beer brewers announced to invest $30 million in New Delhi based B9 Beverages, manufacturers of popular Bira 91. The company seeks to secure a spot in India’s growing craft beer market amid falling sales at home.

As reported by Reuters, a Kirin spokesman and Bira CEO Ankur Jain said, that the Japanese brewer will acquire a stake of under 10% in B9. They declined to give further financial details.

B9 Beverages had been in talks with international brewers and other investors to sell a stake of up to 20% in the company, Reuters reported in the month of August.

Bira was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and have reported losses in recent years, the investment will hence allow the independent brewing company to break even in the fiscal year 2021-22, Ankur Jain told Reuters.

“The companies will be exploring business synergies,” Jain said, adding that the investment would allow Bira to accelerate plans to launch its products in Japan later this year.

Jain added that he expects the deal to be closed over “the next few days” and that talks were also underway with a view to selling a further 10% stake in Bira to financial investors.

Bira launched in the year 2015 holds around 5-10% share of the beer market in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Kirin meanwhile has historically shown interest in independent breweries and owns a minority stake in New York’s Brooklyn Brewery.

PitchBook an independent data provider reported that Bira was valued at USD 210 million in 2018. US-based Sequoia Capital holds a roughly 45% stake in the company, while CEO Ankur Jain and his family own around 30%.

Craft beer sales are on the rise in India as younger, affluent consumers in big cities choose brands and pubs that make lighter brews and promise fresher ingredients.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time