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SABMiller acquires Foster's India

4 August 2006

SABMiller plc, one of the world’s leading brewers, today announces it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in Foster’s India for a consideration of US$120 million on a cash-free debt-free basis, subject to certain conditions being fulfilled. Under the terms of the agreement, SABMiller will assume ownership of all Foster’s assets in India including the Foster’s brand in the territory.

Foster’s India currently operates one brewery based in Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra with a licenced annual capacity of 350,000 hectolitres. The company produces, distributes and supports Foster’s Lager, Amberro Mild and Amberro Strong beer brands in the Indian market. In the year ended 30 June 2006, total beer sales were 236,000 hectolitres (2005: 209,000 hl) with Foster’s Lager representing 88% of total production and sales (2005: 85%).

India is the third largest market for the Foster’s brand globally and it has achieved a CAGR of 13% since operations commenced in 1998. It has a presence in 19 Indian states and has a substantial share of the mild beer segment in the strategic state of Maharashtra.

SABMiller India will look to extend Foster’s Lager nationally through its network of ten breweries and seek significant cost benefits from brewing and distributing the brand locally. The Aurangabad brewery will also provide additional capacity for SABMiller’s presence in Maharashtra as well as a platform for access to the Mumbai market.

SABMiller India is the subcontinent’s second largest brewer. Its brand portfolio includes Royal Challenge, Haywards 5000, Castle and the recently launched Haywards Black, India’s first stout beer.

Commenting on the acquisition, André Parker, Managing Director of SABMiller Africa and Asia, said:

“This transaction enhances our existing portfolio in India and provides us with an exciting opportunity to further increase our premium brand offering. The acquisition also supplies much needed capacity to fuel the strong growth we have experienced so far this year.

“With SABMiller’s extensive footprint throughout the subcontinent, complemented by Foster’s share of Maharashtra and the important Mumbai market, India remains a principal growth market for SABMiller.”

Trevor O’Hoy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foster’s Group, said:

“This is an outstanding deal for Foster’s Group, struck with one of our most important long-term partners. While the Foster’s brand has enjoyed great success in India, the opportunity for us to continue to grow the brand profitably from a small production and distribution base, in a challenging market structure, was limited.

“The value we have achieved through the outright sale of the Foster’s brand, together with the brewery and local brands, far outweighs the potential future value of retaining Foster’s and continuing to own and operate the business, or pursuing a licence agreement.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

SABMiller

SABMiller plc is one of the world’s largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across five continents. The group’s brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world.
 
In the year ended 31 March 2006, the group reported US$2,626 million adjusted pre-tax profit and a turnover of US$15,307 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Foster’s Group Limited

Foster’s Group is a leading global drinks company, with a portfolio of wine, beer, spirits, ready-to-drinks, ciders, and non-alcohol brands. Based in Melbourne, Australia and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Foster’s Group is the global leader in premium wine, and has Australia’s leading portfolio of alcohol brands.

With an approximate market capitalisation of US$8 billion and annual revenues of US$4 billion annually, Foster’s Group employs over 10,000 people in production, sales and marketing offices in Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia.

This announcement is available on the company website: www.sabmiller.com

High resolution images are available for the media to view and download free of charge from: www.vismedia.co.uk

Enquiries:  

SABMiller plc, Tel: +44 20 7659 0100
  
Sue Clark, Director of Corporate Affairs, Tel: +44 20 7659 0184
  
Gary Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Tel: +44 20 7659 0174
  
James Crampton, Media Relations Manager, Tel: +44 20 7659 0172
 
This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire securities of SABMiller plc (the "Company") or any of its affiliates in any jurisdiction or an inducement to enter into investment activity.
This document includes "forward-looking statements".  These statements may contain the words "anticipate", "believe", "intend", "estimate", "expect" and words of similar meaning.  All statements other than statements of historical facts included in this announcement, including, without limitation, those regarding the Company's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to the Company's products and services) are forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Company's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future.  These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement.  The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
Any information contained in this announcement on the price at which the Company's securities have been bought or sold in the past, or on the yield on such securities, should not be relied upon as a guide to future performance.

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