Anheuser-Busch to Unleash Tiger Beer In United States
Premium Asian Beer Adds to American Brewer's Import Push; Gives Tiger National
Muscle Through Anheuser-Busch Wholesaler Network
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 category. "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. beer market. "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 http://www.Anheuser-Busch.com . * Department of Commerce Data provided by the Beer Institute
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