Heineken N.V. (EPA: HEIA)announced today that is has signed non-binding agreements with China Resources Enterprise, Limited (CRE), and China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co. Ltd. (CR Beer). Heineken will acquire a 40% stake in the holding company, CRH Beer, which is currently the undisputed market leader in China and maker of the country’s best-selling Snow brand, for USD 3.1 Billion.
The agreement entails giving CRE 5.2 Million Heineken N.V. shares, equivalent to a 0.9% shareholding in Heineken N.V, totaling to EUR 464 Million, or EUR 88.66 per share. Heineken will also surrender its operating entities in China, including three breweries, to CR Beer for a total consideration of HK 2.4 Billion, through a share sale transaction. The total of the transactions result in a net investment of roughly EUR 1.95 Billion by Heineken.
"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,” Jean-François van Boxmeer said. “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."
The agreement will facilitate distribution and give access to one of the world’s fastest growing premium beer sectors to Heineken.
“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,” said Chen Lang, Chairman of CRE. “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."