J.P. Morgan has led Heineken’s $3.4 billion expansion in China as the country acquires a
growing thirst for premium beers.
The Dutch company has announced a binding agreement to acquire a 40% stake in China’s top
brewer enabling it to reach all corners of the world’s largest beer market.
The acquisition comes as China opens up consumer markets to cater for the changing tastes of
its expanding middle class.
Heineken has had manufacturing operations and brand presence in China for decades but
without a well-developed route to market.
“It is a great combination,” says Camillo Greco, global head of Consumer Investment Banking.
“Heineken has a prestigious premium brand but has historically lacked extensive distribution
in China. This deal pairs the No.1 premium brand with China Resources Beer, the top
distributor, which until now has lacked a premium beer.”
Heineken approached J.P. Morgan for
support with the deal on the back of a
continuous coverage effort. The
complexity of the multiple agreements
meant it has taken a number of months
for the parties to sign a binding
To build trust, most meetings were held
face to face, demanding numerous 12-
hour flights between Amsterdam and
Hong Kong and making progress
Under the terms of the deal, Heineken
will combine its operations in the country
with those of China Resources Beer and
license its brand to the Chinese partner
on a long-term basis. Heineken will also
have a seat on the board.
“This transaction gives Heineken not just royalty from the use of its brand in China, but a
significant economic position in the long-term growth of the beer market through a stake in
the largest local player,” explained Rohit Chatterji, co-head of M&A in Asia Pacific. “It also
gives them better control over how the brand is positioned and used.”
Peter Kerckhoffs, senior country officer for the Netherlands, added: “As the largest inbound
strategic acquisition by a European brewer into the Chinese beer market in the last decade,
this deal had huge visibility in the industry and the Netherlands. As strategic advisor, we were
proud to support Heineken on this highly structured transaction.”
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