San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Beer Company Faces Threats From Both North and South

WITH the world’s two largest beercompanies at its borders, the Florida Ice& Farm Co.-owned Cervecería CostaRica, which has a monopoly on beer productionin Costa Rica, could be facingsome competition in its future, accordingto the daily La República.With the purchase of 72% of theColombian beer company Bavaria, whichowns the principal brewery in Panama,the London-based SAB Miller has edgedagainst Costa Rica’s southern border. Thecompany is the second largest beer-sellerworldwide, has 150 brands, employs39,358 people and sells $12.6 billionannually, La República reported.To the north, InBev, the largest beerseller in the world by volume, has alreadyentered the market in Nicaragua, ElSalvador and Guatemala. It has 200brands worldwide, sells $8.57 billion ayear, and has announced plans to enter theCosta Rican market in 2007.The two beer giants dwarf Florida Ice& Farm, which sells $176 million and has11 brands, but representatives say they areready to face the competition.“Though this would be like a fightbetween a David and a Goliath,” FloridaIce spokesman Carlos FranciscoEcheverría, told the daily, “remember whowon that fight.”

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