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Saturday, Aug 05, 2006

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We see no threat: UB group chief

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Bangalore , Aug. 4

The country's top beer company United Breweries' Chairman, Dr Vijay Mallya, has said companies should not venture into inorganic growth unless such acquisitions can be turned profitable. "Buying brands is not good enough," Dr Mallya told Business Line while referring to SABMiller's buy out of Foster's business in India for $120 million. "We find no threat to our position. I would rather spend the same amount of money wisely by strengthening my existing brands," he said.

Dr Mallya said he was surprised by the amount of money poured into acquisitions by SABMiller. He said even though UB entered the strong beer market later than SAB Miller, its Kingfisher Strong is now the market leader. Dr Mallya said after acquiring Shaw Wallace brands, his group has been able to double its growth and hence it was necessary to improve the performance of an acquired brand.

"We are in a strong position. Our share in the beer market is 51 per cent while that of spirits is around 60 per cent," he said.

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