Heineken has gradually extended its presence in the Asia Pacific region through a series of acquisitions. The central pillar of the regional business is Asia Pacific Breweries, the producer of Tiger beer. This was for many years a joint venture with diversified Singaporean conglomerate Fraser & Neave. In 2012, Heineken offered to buy out its partner after rival brewer ThaiBev - itself part-owned by Kirin of Japan - took steps to acquire a stake in F&N. A bidding battle ensued, ultimately won by Heineken, which now has a 95% stake in AP Breweries. Tiger is the third largest brand by volumes in the global Heineken portfolio, selling around 14m hl in 2019 in some 60 markets globally. AP controls 30 breweries across the region, including New Zealand group DB Breweries, makers of Export Gold. Other key brands include Anchor and Baron's in Singapore, ABC Stout in Cambodia and Bintang in Indonesia. India is another important market. Heineken's takeover of the UK's Scottish & Newcastle in 2007 gave the group a minority stake in India's leading brewer United, whose brands including the local #1 beer Kingfisher as well as Sandpiper and Zingaro. In 2009, Heineken bought out Asia Pacific Breweries' Indian subsidiary as well and injected it into the partnership with United Breweries. As a result, United took over local production and distribution of the Heineken brand in India, alongside Kingfisher. Heineken now has a shareholding of just under 38% in United Breweries, equal to that of United's original owner Vijay Mallya. The remaining shares are publicly held. The group has also been active in China for several years and began local production of Heineken in 2004. It acquired sizeable stakes in local brewers Kingway in 2004 and Jiangsu DaFuHao in 2005. Those two companies produce a variety of regional Chinese beers. However, the business had remained comparatively small. In 2018, Heineken agreed to transfer its brands and operations in China to local giant China Resources Enterprises, in return for a near-21% stake in its new partner. CRE continues to produce Heineken under license. The brand is marketed in Australia by Lion, but Heineken established its own presence in that country in 2020 with a deal to acquire the local licenses for AB InBev's Stella Artois and Beck's and its own Strongbow cider back from local brewer CUB. Asia Pacific accounted for 28.1m hl of beer in 2020 - or around 13% of the group total - and contributed revenues of €2.7bn. Asia Pacific chief Dolf van den Brink succeeded Jean-Francois van Boxmeer as group CEO in 2020. Jacco van der Linden is now regional CEO.
Capsule checked 22nd January 2021
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Historical profile information for Heineken
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Aug 2018: Heineken shifted global creative for Tiger Beer out of Marcel in Australia and into the main Publicis network, out of Singapore.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Aug 2018: Heineken ramped up its brand footprint in China in a major deal with local giant China Resources Enterprises, owner of top-selling mass-market beer Snow. Heineken will sell its local operations to China Resources, and will at the same time acquire a near-21% stake in the larger company. CRE will in return acquire a little under 1% of the Dutch group. Net cost to Heineken will be around $2.3bn. In Heineken, CRE gains its first premium brand to tackle the growing local popularity of Budweiser. "China is a continent and we are a small organization and to scale up for us is just unaffordable," said Heineken CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer. "CRE lacks a premium brand for growth and we lack the distribution reach in China that CRE has. They have a formidable selling machine. They are very motivated to make a big acceleration of the Heineken brand. It's about mobilizing people on the ground to bring the beer in so many more cities and provinces and outlets in which today we are not."
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd Feb 2017: Colenso BBDO's "Brewtroleum" film for Heineken-owned DB Export was one of the world's most awarded marketing campaigns last year. Here's the follow-up, launching a system that will process empty beer bottles into sand that can be used for construction and other industrial purposes in place of New Zealanders' beloved beach sand. As with the Brewtroleum concept - which ran cars on beer! - we're not sure how practical this is, but the idea is fabulous.
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