Published On: Sat, Aug 4th, 2018

Heineken to acquire minority stake in Chinese brewing company CR Beer in $3.1bn deal

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Drinks acquisition news : Dutch brewing company Heineken has agreed to acquire a stake of 40% in CRH (Beer) Limited (CBL), the owner of Chinese brewing company China Resources Beer (CR Beer), for HK$24.3 billion ($3.1 billion), from China Resources Enterprise.

CR Beer, in turn, is the owner of the Snow beer brand, in which Heineken will have a stake of 20.67%. On the other hand, China Resources Enterprise will hold the remaining 60% stake in CBL.

The deal is part of Heineken’s agreement with China Resources Enterprise and CR Beer to establish a long-term partnership for Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

The Heineken and CR Beer combination in China is said to be very complementary with the latter having a best-in-class route to market (RTM) network, a broad brewery presence along with a deep understanding of the Chinese market.

Heineken, China Resources Enterprise and CR Beer believe that their partnership will bring growth for their businesses. The partnership is expected to help China Resources Enterprise take its premiumization strategy forward while letting Heineken considerably expand availability of its Heineken beer brand in China.

Heineken beer bottles
Heineken beer bottles. Photo courtesy of Heineken N.V.

Jean-Francois van Boxmeer – Heineken Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO, said: “We very much look forward to joining forces with CRE and CR Beer, the undisputed market leader in China. We believe that our strong Heineken brand and marketing capabilities, combined with CR Beer’s deep understanding of the local market, its scale and best-in-class distribution network will create a winning combination in the growing premium beer segment in China.

“We look forward to working together with CRE’s leadership in our newly formed Strategic Advisory Council, and supporting CR Beer in its ambition to internationalize.”

Also, Heineken has agreed to be China Resources Enterprise’s exclusive partner for international premium lager beers in China.

The Dutch brewing company and CR Beer will study which other premium beer brands from the former’s portfolio can be licensed to the Chinese brewing company in China.

Heineken and China Resources Enterprise will also examine if the former’s international footprint and marketing capabilities can be utilized to support and accelerate the global growth of CR Beer’s Snow beer brand and its other Chinese beer brands to become the preferred Chinese beers.

Chen Lang – Chairman of China Resources Enterprise, said: “With HEINEKEN’s long heritage and world-class iconic brand portfolio, along with our leading presence and deep understanding of China, we believe we can win together in this new era of the Chinese beer market, in which the premium segment will become increasingly important.

“In HEINEKEN we have found the perfect partner to achieve our ambitions in China and – as an international partner – to support us in growing our business outside China.”

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