From Old Bottles to Asia

Oct 31, 2007

International expansion is not confined to huge monopolists in the bigger markets. Peru's Ajegroup proves that size isn't everything.

Having a president on hand for the inauguration of a company is not a bad way to get operations underway in a new country. Ajegroup, a fast-growing Peru-based beverage multinational, got just this kind of plug in May when Honduras' leader cut the ribbon at its $7 million bottling plant in San Pedro Sula. Since then, the group, which is changing its name to AJE as part of a branding strategy, has opened a $20 million bottler in Colombia and its first brewery at home in Peru. And AJE continues to surprise with its opportunistic expansion strategy.

"We do not do what our competition expects," Alfredo Paredes, head of corporate issues and communication at AJE, tells LatinFinance.

Overall investment in new projects this year will top $70 million. AJE is now present in 12 countries, operates 23 plants and directly employs 10,600 people, with another 2,000 jobs to be...

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