ST. LOUIS, March 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- Anheuser-Busch (NYSE: BUD)
will become the U.S. importer of Tiger Beer, a leading premium brew from
Singapore, expanding the American brewer's portfolio in the growing U.S.
import category, the two brewers jointly announced today.
The agreement gives Tiger Beer access to Anheuser-Busch's broad marketing
and sales expertise and to its wide-reaching U.S. distribution network, which
is considered the best in the industry. The deal follows the recent
announcement of a similar partnership with the Dutch brewer, Grolsch,
continuing an aggressive push by Anheuser-Busch into the high-end beer
"Tiger Beer is recognized as one of Asia's finest beer exports," said
August A. Busch IV, president of Anheuser-Busch Inc. "Tiger Beer is a
high-quality, premium brand that is a perfect complement to our growing
portfolio of import beers."
The new agreement significantly broadens Tiger Beer's U.S. distribution
opportunities by giving Asia Pacific Breweries access to Anheuser-Busch's
network of nearly 600 independent wholesalers. In return Anheuser-Busch
wholesalers will have the opportunity to add this exotic and sophisticated
Asian beer that has been warmly received in markets such as Europe, Australia
and North America. Last year, the brand recorded high, double-digit growth in
the United States.
"We are sure that we have found the right partner for Tiger in
Anheuser-Busch," said Mr. Koh Poh Tiong, chief executive officer, Asia Pacific
Breweries, the brand owner of Tiger Beer. "We share the same views on how the
brand should be marketed and positioned in the vast American beer market, and
most importantly, Anheuser-Busch shares our passion and excitement for our
brand. We believe that together with Anheuser-Busch, we shall be able to
bring Tiger to another level of growth in the U.S. market."
Imported beers represent approximately 12.4 percent of the total U.S. beer
market, selling 25.6 million barrels in 2005.* The segment grew about 7.2
percent in 2005* and has experienced an average growth rate of 5 percent over
the past five years, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S.
"While beer drinkers in Asia have been enjoying Tiger for many decades,
drinkers in America are only beginning to discover the unique taste of Asia in
Tiger in trendy bars and Asian fusion-style restaurants in cities such as New
York, San Francisco and Miami," said Mr. James Wong, general manager, Tiger
Export Pte Ltd, the global exporter of Tiger Beer for Asia Pacific Breweries.
"With Anheuser-Busch's excellent sales organization and strong distribution
network, more American beer drinkers all over the United States will soon be
able to discover the great taste of Tiger. We look forward to working with
Anheuser-Busch and its distributors in making Tiger a successful brand in the
growing imported beer category."
Available in some of the most up-market bars and clubs in the United
States, Tiger Beer's distribution is focused on cosmopolitan cities such as
New York, Boston, Miami, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Through
its national network of wholesalers, Anheuser-Busch will expand Tiger Beer's
push into high-end bars and clubs across the country.
The agreement will be effective May 1, 2006. Terms were not disclosed.
The imported Tiger Beer will continue to be brewed at Asia Pacific Breweries'
Singapore brewery for export to the United States.
Anheuser-Busch is focused on expanding its participation in the import and
high-end beer categories as a key growth strategy for its U.S. business.
Anheuser-Busch brews and sells two of Japanese brewer Kirin Brewery's beer
brands in the United States -- Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light. In some areas
of the country, Anheuser-Busch wholesalers carry Corona and the other beer
brands of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.
Based in Singapore and listed on the Singapore Exchange, Asia Pacific
Breweries is one of the key players in the beer industry. It is a joint
venture between the Fraser and Neave Group of companies and Heineken of
Holland. Tiger Beer was first brewed in Singapore in 1931 by Asia Pacific
Breweries, then known as Malayan Breweries.
Tiger Beer, Asia Pacific Breweries' flagship brand, is enjoyed by millions
of beer drinkers in more than 60 countries. Launched in 1932, Tiger Beer
stands firmly as Singapore's favorite beer brand, and continues to be
successful in winning market share in other Asian markets, in particular
Malaysia and Vietnam. It is available throughout the Asia Pacific region and
is brewed in seven countries across Southeast Asia and China.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding
a 48.8 percent of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's
largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50
percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27 percent share
in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among
beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired U.S. and Global
Companies lists in 2006. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park
operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and
is America's top recycler of aluminum cans. For more information, visit
* Department of Commerce Data provided by the Beer Institute