Diageo is in talks to acquire a 30% stake in Cobra Beer, the private Indian-themed lager company, for between £25m and 30m. Cobra was developed nearly two decades ago by Lord Karan Bilimoria to be sold in British curry houses and now has annual sales of about £55m. But it has had difficulty breaking into the UK pub and bar market, which accounts for just 10% of its sales. Lord Bilimoria has been holding talks with potential investors because he wants to expand the brand’s sales and distribution. He has forecast that within two years, Cobra, which is currently brewed in Poland, will have bigger sales in India, where alcohol consumption is rising rapidly among the growing middle class, than in Britain. Financial Times 26/07/08 page 13 (Companies&Markets)