Heineken hikes up holding in United Breweries of India for USD45.8 million

December 10
12:27 PM 2013

Data on the National Stock Exchange revealed that the world's third largest brewer has increased its ownership stake in India's United Breweries. Heineken International BV was noted to have acquired an additional 1.3% holding in the Vijay Mallya-led company for USD45.8 million or INR2.8 billion.

An Economic Times of India report said that as of the third quarter ending September 30, Heineken International has a 0.16% stake in United Breweries, while Heineken UK Ltd owns a 3.21% stake in the Indian company. Heineken UK obtained the holding due to the terms of an earlier transaction in May this year, wherein United Breweries merged with Scottish & Newcastle India Pvt Ltd. As a shareholder of Scottish & Newcastle, Heineken UK received the ownership interest upon the cessation of the Indian long alcoholics unit.

Citing information on the stock exchange, the Economic Times of India said in its report that Heineken International purchased 35,580,030 in United Breweries shares through an open market route. The shares were acquired from former owner Citicorp Finance (India) Ltd at a trading price of INR772.9 per share.

United Breweries and Heineken entered into an agreement in 2008 for the latter to be able to sell its beers in India through the former a year ago. Heineken is known for its over 170 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers. The Dutch company currently owns beer brands including Ochota, Murphy's, Star, Cruzcampo, Tiger Beer, Żywiec, Starobrno, Zagorka, Birra Moretti, and its flagship product Heineken Pilsener.

Heineken's continuing dominance in the beer market was attributed to a succession of strategic mergers and acquisitions. Aside from partly acquiring the now non-existent Scottish and Newcastle, Heineken also purchased the Mexican giant FEMSA's brewery division, which led to the eventual merger of both companies. FEMSA, according to Heineken in an earlier press release, is Latin America's largest bottler and brewery. FEMSA also owns OXXO, which is the largest convenience store chain in Mexico, and uses the OXXO network as part of its massive distribution network.

United Breweries shares on Tuesday saw a 0.4% increase and closed at INR775.80 per share.

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