Lion has today confirmed the inevitable, that it is now the distributor for Corona in Australia.
Although expected since SABMiiller’s takeover of CUB, yesterday Corona’s brewer, Grupo Modelo, suddenly announced it would exercise the change of ownership provisions of its distribution agreement.
With a market share estimated to be 4.2% of the Australian beer market , the Mexican brand’s market share exceed all of Coopers’ brands combined, which in turn exceeds the entire craft industry including Little Creatures, Matilda Bay and James Squire brands. While CUB has never confirmed the value of the franchise to its bottom line, during the takeover battle last year, suitor SABMiller estimated the value to be between 7 to 10 per cent of CUB’s earnings. Even if factored into SABMiller’s purchase price, the loss will hurt.
Focus will now turn to the Kronenbourg and Carlsberg licencing agreements, with insiders suggesting these will also flee the CUB stable as soon as next week.
Corona joins the AB-InBev beers which jumped ship earlier this year to be brewed by Lion, leaving CUB responsible for the SABMiller brands of Peroni, Grolsch and Miller which will no doubt see increased focus in the market.
Lion welcomes Australia’s largest international premium brand, Corona Extra, to its Australian portfolio
Sydney, March 10 2012: Lion and Grupo Modelo today announced that Lion will distribute Corona Extra in Australia effective immediately.
The new partnership builds on an already strong relationship and makes Lion Grupo Modelo’s preferred partner for Corona Extra across Australia and New Zealand.
“This is an incredibly exciting development that strengthens an already enviable brand portfolio,” said James Brindley, Managing Director Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Australia.
“Corona Extra is Australia’s largest premium beer and international premium is one of the fastest growing segments in the beer market. We are delighted to have the opportunity to further grow this leading brand in Australia.”