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Heineken buys Carlsberg brewery

Released at: 09:44, 30/08/2016

Heineken buys Carlsberg brewery

Photo: Duc Anh

Dutch brewer picks up Ba Ria Vung Tau brewery as part of market expansion plans.

by Quynh Nguyen

Dutch beer giant Heineken has purchased a brewery in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province from Carlsberg.

The deal was completed at the end of July but has only now been revealed. Ms. Tuyet Minh, PR Specialist at Heineken Vietnam Brewery, confirmed with VET that the acquisition of the brewery is part of Heineken’s expansion plans to meet market demand.

The value of the deal is yet to be disclosed. The brewery will be renamed Heineken Vietnam Brewery Vung Tau. Carlsberg CEO Cees’t Hart told Bloomberg that the sale would allow it to concentrate on its existing territory in the northern part of the country.

The brewery was created by a joint venture between Carlsberg and the Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Habeco) in 2008. In 2014 the joint venture became Carlsberg Vietnam.

Heineken Vietnam Brewery, meanwhile, is a joint venture between the State-owned Saigon Trading Group (Satra) and Heineken Asia-Pacific. Its brands include Heineken, Tiger, Larue, BGI, Bivina, Desperados, Affligem and Strongbow Cider.

Originally known as Vietnam Brewery Limited Company (VBL), it became the Heineken Vietnam Brewery Limited Company (Heineken Vietnam Brewery) on August 1 and released a new logo. “The new image of Heineken Vietnam Brewery will be introduced in the Asia-Pacific region but no changes will be made to management and organizational structure,” said Ms. Le Minh Trang, Chairman of Heineken Vietnam Brewery and General Director of Satra.

Products under the old brand name will continue to be distributed and their quality will remain unchanged, according to Mr. Leo Evers, Managing Director of Heineken Vietnam Brewery.

With annual profit averaging around $186 million and State budget contributions $573 million, many have asked whether Heineken has its eyes on Satra’s shareholding in the joint venture, with its first step being the name change.

Heineken Vietnam Brewery has four other breweries in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Quang Nam and Tien Giang provinces. The world’s third-largest brewer, Heineken has recently announced that Vietnam is among three Asian markets with potential for outstanding growth, joining Cambodia and Indonesia.

Vietnam’s beer market saw output of 1,323.7 million liters in the first five months of 2016, a year-on-year increase of 5.7 per cent. Production in May reached nearly 309 million liters, up 1.9 per cent year-on-year.

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