SABMiller PLC said it has launched Miller Brands (U.K.) Ltd., a new operating company which will manage the sales, marketing and distribution of Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Castle Lager in the United Kingdom.
SABMiller said it will make an initial investment of 30 million pounds ($52 million) over the next two years in the new company.
As part of this move, SABMiller also said it has reached a new agreement with Scottish & Newcastle PLC to transfer the marketing and distribution rights for Miller Genuine Draft to Miller Brands from January 2006.
At the same time, Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) will transfer back the distribution rights for Peroni Nastro Azzurro in the off-trade.
S&N U.K. will continue to brew Miller Genuine Draft (MGD), and Miller Beer and will retain its role in marketing and distributing the Miller Beer brand.
S&N said the new contractual arrangements will give S&N U.K. the opportunity to further develop the Miller Beer brand, particularly in Scotland.
S&N said the deal will be modestly earnings enhancing and strategically significant as it further consolidates the S&N U.K. business around the four key drive brands of Foster's, Kronenbourg 1664, John Smith's and Strongbow.