Rival brewing giants InBev and SABMiller have been linked with moves for Cobra Beer after it emerged this week that talks between Cobra and Diageo had broken down.

Diageo, owner of brands including Smirnoff and Guinness, had previously been set to acquire a 30% stake in Cobra, in a deal that would have been worth around £30m.

Following news that Diageo had ditched those plans, analysts believe InBev and SABMiller could now be set to make rival bids.

Cobra currently generates around £55m annually, with just under a quarter of its sales coming in India.

A successful acquisition for InBev would mark a major step up in its Indian operations, which currently include the Crown Beer India brand. SABMiller is already a major player in the Indian market.

Cobra was formed in 1989 by Karan Bilimoria and was originally brewed in Bangalore for export to the UK. This year the company has implement a series of measures intended to broaden its appeal “beyond the curry house”, including redesigned packaging and a nationwide sampling campaign.

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