By James Atkinson
Coopers has ruled itself out of contention for Corona's sister brands, Negra Modelo and Pacifico, leading to speculation that Lion could end up with the Mexican beers after all.
Coopers was believed to have expressed an interest in Negra Modelo and Pacifico after the brands were overlooked by Corona's new Australian distributor, Lion.
But having locked in its Carlsberg brewing and distribution deal, the brewer's interest in the Mexican brands appears to have softened.
A spokesman for Coopers' distribution business, Premium Beverages, today told TheShout the company is "not currently pursuing these brands".
Lion's stated position on Negra Modelo and Pacifico, meanwhile, has also changed.
Early last month, a Lion spokeswoman categorically told TheShout the low-volume brands were excluded from its new contract with owner Grupo Modelo.
But the spokeswoman declined to comment when asked last week if a deal for the brands was back on the cards.
"Lion isn't making any statements in this regard," she said.
Garry Hastings, general manager of Grupo Modelo Oceania Region, recently said he would not comment until the new distribution arrangements were in place.