Lion today announced it had reached an agreement with Diageo to add Guinness and Kilkenny to its Australian portfolio from 1 November 2012.
Lion will manage the local brewing of Guinness Draught, Kilkenny Draught and Extra Stout, as well as distribution, sales and marketing for both brands in all existing formats, in line with Diageo global brand activity.
James Brindley, Managing Director Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine Australia, said Lion is thrilled to welcome Guinness and Kilkenny to its portfolio in Australia.
“These brands strengthen our leading international premium portfolio, with Lion now offering six of the top ten beers in this fast growing segment. Guinness and Kilkenny have fantastic heritage and we are delighted to have the opportunity to further grow these brands in Australia,” said James.
The new agreement extends the partnership Diageo has with Kirin in the Asia-Pacific region. Kirin is Diageo’s distribution partner in Japan, and Lion currently manufactures and distributes Guinness and Kilkenny in New Zealand through a pre-existing relationship with Diageo.
“As the largest spirits and RTD producer in the market, we will continue to focus on growing our portfolio of market-leading spirits and RTD brands. We welcome the new agreement with Lion in Australia, and at the same time, we have enjoyed a successful and productive relationship with Foster’s for the past nine years and would like to thank them for their co-operation,” said Tim Salt, Diageo Australia Managing Director.
Foster’s will continue to manufacture Guinness and Kilkenny in Australia until 31 October 2012. Diageo and Lion will be working to manage a smooth transition for customers in the coming months leading up to 1 November 2012.