Carlsberg, the Danish brewer, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of its Indian business, according to a Bloomberg report. Carlsberg has the market share of 13.7 per cent and ranks third in India. As reported the foreign brewer will meet people in relation to share sale over the next few weeks. Other details about the offer are not available as discussions are at an early stage.

According to Euromonitor International, India’s beer market was at $8.6 billion last year and it is expected to grow to $10.7 billion by 2020.

Kingfisher of United Breweries Ltd is the number one in the beer market with a market share of 39.2 per cent, followed by Budweiser which has a market share of 23 per cent.

Carlsberg entered into Indian markets in 2007. At present, it owns eight breweries in the country, along with four contract manufacturing associations. In January it established a new brewery in Karnataka with an aim to strengthen its foothold in the southern region.

According to Bloomberg report, Indian beer companies enjoy high valuations on the stock exchange. For example, United Breweries has the price-earnings (P/E) ratio of 73 times. Similarly, valuation of Diageo Plc’s is at 63 times based on future earnings. Corporate India raised $2.2 billion through IPOs in 2017, and this year around $3.9 billion has been raised so far.

Carlsberg earlier reported a fall in its net profit to 1.26 billion kroner ($210 million), from 4.49 billion kroner a year earlier. The company said that sales volumes in Russia, which accounts for a fifth of its revenue, fell 14 per cent and its market share dropped to 31.9 per cent from 34.6 per cent. It also booked a 4.8 billion kroner ($800 million) impairment charge for its Baltika brand following the change to the size in the popular so-called PET bottles.

(With inputs from PTI)