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SABMiller announces Australian joint venture

10 August 2006

Ref 35/2006

SABMILLER ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIAN JOINT VENTURE

London and Johannesburg, 10 August 2006. SABMiller plc, one of the world’s leading brewers, today announces that it has entered into a joint venture with Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) to import, market and distribute SABMiller’s international premium brands in Australia.

Under the terms of the agreement, SABMiller and CCA will each hold a 50% interest in the joint venture, which will be known as Pacific Beverages Pty Ltd. The joint venture will combine SABMiller’s marketing expertise with CCA’s comprehensive sales and distribution infrastructure    to sell Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft alongside CCA’s existing non-alcoholic beverage portfolio.

The joint venture, which is expected to be operational by Christmas 2006 following the fulfilment of certain conditions, will be headed by Ari Mervis, formerly Managing Director of SABMiller’s Russian operations. During the four years under Mr Mervis’ leadership, the Russian business grew beer volumes by more than 150% resulting in SABMiller holding the leading position in the international premium sector of this highly competitive market.

CCA is the largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the world’s leading Coca-Cola bottlers, with operations in six countries. 

The premium beer market in Australia has grown by 15 percent per annum over the past five years, driven specifically by international imported premium brands. This transaction reflects SABMiller’s continued strategy to invest in its international brand portfolio and expand into growth markets. 

André Parker, Managing Director of SABMiller Africa and Asia said:

“We are delighted to partner with CCA in growing our premium beer business in Australia, as we believe that our joint expertise in the beverage industry will give us the necessary foundation to be a significant player in this segment.

“We believe there is enormous potential to grow the premium beer market in Australia for the Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell brands, and look forward to working with our partner to build Pacific Beverages into a formidable contender in this category.”

Commenting on the transaction, Terry Davis, Managing Director of CCA Group said:

“Both SABMiller and CCA own, market and distribute many of the world’s premium beverage brands. When they are combined with SABMiller’s world-class marketing capabilities and CCA’s strong customer relationships, sales force and distribution capabilities, you have a very solid platform to expand the premium beer offering in the Australian market.

“Over the past three years, CCA’s beverage sales to the hotel, restaurant and cafe channel have grown considerably and are now a significant contributor to the Australian beverage business’ earnings.

“We are very confident the addition of the international premium beer brands to the stable will lead to further opportunities to expand our existing customer relationships.”

Any profits are likely to be re-invested by the new venture into the business over the first few years to build long-term sustainable brand equity.

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.

Coca-Cola Amatil

Coca-Cola Amatil (‘CCA’) is the largest non-alcoholic beverage company in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottlers. It operates across six countries – Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea, Fiji and Papua New Guinea – and has a diversified portfolio of products Including water, sports drinks, fruit juices, coffee, iced teas and packaged ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable products.

CCA’s group revenue in 2005 was AUSD $4 billion and EBIT was AUSD $570.6 million. CCA produced 639 million unit cases of beverages across the group in 2005. It currently employs 19,000 people and has 37 manufacturing locations across its regions

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
  
Rachel Kentleton  
Investor Relations  
Tel: +44 20 7659 0113

Rachel Whittaker  
Tel: +44 20 7659 0188
  
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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