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29 November, 2006 - 14:25 By Staff Reporter

Lloyds TSB funds Cobra expansion

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets has provided a £4.2m funding facility to Cobra Beer to support its expansion into new markets. The Bangalore to Bedford brewer is reportedly aiming for a London stockmarket float in 2007.The new funds comprise term loans and overdraft facilities. They will assist Cobra’s expansion in the alcohol free and low calorie beer markets and support new product lines such as King Cobra, its double fermented strong lager.

The funding will also allow Cobra, one of the fastest-growing beer brands in the UK, with a current turnover of £96m at retail value, to move itself on to a more positive trading position.

Dr Geeta Gupta, business development director for Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, introduced the deal to the bank in partnership with Sphere Partners, Cobra’s financial adviser. It is the latest in a series of big money deals Lloyds TSB has agreed with major Asian businesses.

Asian businesses have enjoyed huge success in recent years; recent figures show that British Asians – representing just 2.5 per cent of the population – now produce 10 per cent of the country’s GDP (more than £100 billion). Lloyds TSB has been responding to this growing force by launching a range of new products and services. The bank also has dedicated teams focusing on meeting the needs of Asian businesses.

Dynshaw Italia, chief financial officer, Cobra Beer, said: “Cobra is a very fast-growing business and receiving the right funding is essential to our expansion plans. Lloyds TSB is heavily involved in the Asian community and it was therefore the natural choice for us when seeking financial backing.”

Dr Gupta added: “Cobra is a dynamic and high-profile business and we were delighted to help with its development as it moves forward. Asian businesses are a major driver of the UK economy and Lloyds TSB is very keen to help them make the most of their vision and expertise.”

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