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Exclusive: Bira 91 converts into public entity, expands ESOP Pool


Craft beer maker Bira 91 has been silently planning a public listing for a while, and it has now taken the first key step towards realizing that by converting itself into a public entity. It has also expanded its employee stock options (ESOP) pool.

Following the conversion, the name of the company has been changed from B9 Beverages Private Limited to B9 Beverages Limited, as per the resolution passed by the board of directors of the company.

Bira 91 has also passed a separate special resolution to increase its existing ESOP pool by 1,566,390 options to 3,649,199 options. As per Fintrackr’s analysis, the new options are worth around Rs 112.5 crore ($14 million), whereas the total worth of the ESOP stands at around Rs 262 crore ($32.75 million).

Founded in 2015, Bira 91 makes various beer variants including Bira White, Gold, Bira Blonde, and Boom Super Strong among others. The company has also been experimenting with non-alcoholic beverages. It has a presence in 18 countries with around 31,000 outlets across 550 cities. The company claims to have secured a double-digit share in several key markets and emerged as the fourth-largest beer brand in India.

In November, Bira 91 raised $70 million from a Japanese beer company Kirin Holdings. Earlier, it acquired Kamakhya Beer, a subsidiary company of Chhattisgarh Distilleries and a pub chain The Beer Café as it eyes a stronger play in pubs and taprooms market.

After seeing negative growth in FY21, Bira 91 managed to grow its scale by 66.8% to Rs 719 crore during FY22. As per Fintrackr’s analysis, the firm’s losses surged 57.8% to Rs 396 crore in FY22 as compared to Rs 251 in the preceding fiscal year.

Currently, the Indian beer market is at $8 billion by value of sales and will grow to $20 billion by 2030 and Bira 91 aims to gain a significant chunk of this growing market. The company competes with ABInBev’s Haywards, United Breweries-owned Kingfisher, and Carlsberg’s Tuborg.

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