Beverage Industry

Heineken expands into Latin, South America with FEMSA bid

January 12, 2010

Heineken N.V., Amsterdam, announced its acquisition offer for the beer operations of Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V (FEMSA). Heineken will acquire 100 percent of its Mexican beer operations, which are valued at $7.3 billion. The transaction includes FEMSA Cerveza’s export business and the remaining 83 percent of FEMSA’s Brazilian beer business Heineken does not currently own. In return, FEMSA will hold a 20 percent economic interest in the Heineken Group.
 
“This is a compelling and significant development for Heineken,” said Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chairman and chief executive officer of Heineken, in a statement. “It transforms our future in the Americas and marks the next stage in Heineken’s strong association with FEMSA. Through this deal, we become a much stronger, more competitive player in Latin America, one of the world’s most profitable and fastest growing beer markets. The acquisition strengthens considerably our position within the global beer market, expands our portfolio of leading international brands and enhances our leading position in the U.S. import market.”
 
The transaction combines FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands, including Dos Equis, Sol and Tecate, with Heineken’s global portfolio. Heineken will gain market positions in Mexico and Brazil, where it had been sharing joint ownership with FEMSA. Heineken currently distributes FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States.
 
The transaction also provides an opportunity for FEMSA, said Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of FEMSA, in a statement: “It increases FEMSA’s operational and financial flexibility, allowing us to focus our attention and resources on the significant growth opportunities for Coca-Cola FEMSA and Oxxo.”
 
Coca-Cola FEMSA is the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the Latin American region and Oxxo is a convenience store chain in Mexico with more than 7,300 stores. Fernandez will be chairman of the newly formed Americas Committee and also will join Heineken N.V.’s Supervisory Board as vice chairman as well as serve on the Heineken Holding N.V. Board. Another member of FEMSA’s senior management team also will serve on the Heineken N.V. Supervisory Board.
 
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010.