Heineken snaps up Tiger for £3.75bn

HeinekenHeineken has splashed out 4.7 billion euro (£3.75bn) to gain control over the Tiger beer brand as part of a strategy to significantly expand its operations in Asia.

Shareholders of Singapore-based conglomerate Fraser & Neave agreed to sell their 39.7% stake in Asian Pacific Breweries, the owner of Tiger and other popular Asian brands, to Heineken for 3.2bn euro (£2.5bn), giving Heineken control of 95% of APB.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
CEO Jean-Francois van Boxmeer said the company wanted "to move big and bold on the region, which is still a growth market for decades to come, for beer and premium beer".

Though Mr Van Boxmeer conceded Heineken is paying a "full price" for APB, he said there were huge potential returns available, citing a forecast that the premium segment in China, in which Heineken and Tiger operate, will grow by 12% per year through 2020.

After the deal, which is being financed by debt, around 55% of Heineken's operating profits will come from "high growth" economies, he claimed.

Heineken also sees prospects for cross-selling Tiger beer globally, as beer drinkers have an "appetite for something that is exotic, that comes from somewhere else".

Heineken has owned part of APB via a joint venture with Fraser & Neave for nearly 80 years, but began working hastily to increase its stake of around 42% in July.

Heineken shares rose 0.6 to 46.29 euro.

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