Bilimoria puts Cobra on the market

The 46-year-old has appointed investment banking organisation NM Rothschild to help find a buyer for his £177m-turnover business, which supplies beers to thousands of curry houses across the country.

Lord Karan, who received a cash injection of £15m just two months ago to fuel growth, revealed he’s already been approached by drinks giant Diageo – but that talks had collapsed.

The Indian businessman completed a diploma in accounting and spent four years as an Ernst & Young trainee, before starting up a business flogging polo sticks from India to retailers in the UK. He entered one of the most competitive beer markets in the world when he was still in his twenties – and £20,000 in debt. “I’ve done every single thing in the business,” he told Real Business. “I’ve delivered the beer, I’ve done the books, done the marketing, every single thing. It’s a wonderful position to be in.”

Lord Karan stands to make a mint out of the sale. He’s Cobra’s largest shareholder, owning about two-thirds of the shares.

Related articles:What on earth is Karan Bilimoria up to now?

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