• Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Business

Lord Bilimoria’s lenders set to receive payout as his Cobra beer business gets £2.3m dividend

He promised to repay his debts from his share of dividends after his business was revived in 2009

Lord Bilimoria (R) (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for His Holiness Brahmrishi Shree Kumar Swamiji)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

Lenders to Lord Karan Bilimoria are on course to receive a payout from a £2.3 million dividend he received from his Cobra beer business last year.

The current vice president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) owed £70m to his 340 creditors when Cobra Beer collapsed in 2009, some 20 years after he founded the company in Fulham.

However, the Hyderabad-born British Indian entrepreneur struck a pre-pack deal with the American brewer Molson Coors to revive the business and formed the joint venture, Cobra Beer Partnership.

He made a widely praised commitment to his creditors to repay his debts from his share of dividends from the business. The 10-year joint venture in which he has a 49.9 per cent stake was extended in 2019. He heads the collaboration as the chairman.

Filings with the registrar of companies said the joint venture declared a dividend of £4.6 million for 2021 and half of it – £2.3 million – being the peer’s share. This was down compared to the £3 million he received in 2020 and £4.2 million in 2019. The alcohol industry suffered disruptions during the pandemic-induced lockdowns worldwide.

Earlier this year, Cobra Beer announced a total dividend of £5 million.

Lord Bilimoria’s spokesperson told The Times: “As before, the vast majority of the dividends has been used to settle creditors.”

The peer, 60, planned to continue to settle remaining creditors from his share of the dividends “over the remaining years of the joint venture”, the spokesperson said.

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