Castlemaine XXXX to withdraw from UK

Castlemaine XXXX is to withdraw from the UK market after AB Inbev said it would not be renewing its licensing deal with brand owner Lion Nathan.

The lager was a serious rival to Foster’s in the UK market two decades ago, and was backed with heavyweight advertising. But the lager has struggled in recent times despite periodic attempts to reinvigorate the brand.

AB InBev said: “The mainstream lager market in the UK is subject to challenging market conditions. Also, in an increasingly globalised world, Lion Nathan has taken the view that maintaining varied brand positioning in different markets is not in the best interests of the XXXX brand.

“Consequently, Lion Nathan has taken the view that it is not in the best long term interests of XXXX to continue marketing the brand in the UK.”

AB Inbev's deal ends on June 30.