Photographer's Note

Lao Brewery was established in Laos in 1971 and began its production in 1973, originally known as Brasseries et Glaci res du Laos (BGL). The BGL was formed as a joint venture between the French investor and some local investors (85%-15% shareholding each) with the total investment of US$3.75 million and had maximum production capacity of 3 million litres per year of beer. At the initial stage, two trademarks of beer were formulated namely LARUE contained in a large bottle of 0.66 litre and "33" export contained in a small bottle of 0.33 litre.

Following political change in Laos in 1975, the Lao government bought back all the overseas shares and since then the BGL has become a state enterprise under the Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts called Lao Brewery Co. Ltd. (LBC). From 1993 the company became a joint venture between the Government, with a 49% share, and Loxley (public) Co. Ltd. and Italian Thai (public) Co. Ltd. holding a combined share of 51%, with registered capital of US$ 20 Million. With the employees up to 300 people, the company produced 30 million litres per year. Moreover, LBC was upgraded recently through the addition of a new automatic brew house and packaging lines.

In the beginning of 2002, the two Thai investors decided to withdraw its share from LBC which then gave the Lao Government back total control of the company. Subsequently, Carlsberg Asia, a unit of Denmark 's Carlsberg Breweries AS (K.CRL), and TCC, a Thai company who is Carlsberg's partner in Thailand , each agreed to acquire a 25% stake in LBC. The remaining shares are still held by the government of Laos . Due to being a pro-active market player with control of 99% of the market share, the company has a yearly production of 63 million litres and expects to reach 120 million litres by the end of 2005 year. Today, the company has 493 employees and its value is estimated at US$56 million.

Sitting here working on my masters when this photo flicks by. I could really use one right now!

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Additional Photos by Benjamin Voborsky (vagabondtravels) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1247 W: 82 N: 1193] (6511)
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