Heineken did not make a bid for Bavaria, as it believes there are better opportunities elsewhere, the company said yesterday (19 July). The Colombian brewer sold a majority stake to SABMiller yesterday after what speculation had suggested had been a two-horse race between Heineken and the UK-based brewer.

Speaking to Reuters yesterday, Heineken spokeswoman Veronique Schyns said: "We decided not to make a bid for Bavaria as the risk profile was too high, from a political point of view as well as in terms of market position.

"We are convinced there are better value-creating opportunities elsewhere like, for instance, in Russia," she added.

The Dutch brewer will continue to look for "good growth opportunities for the Heineken brand and good opportunities for acquisitions" in South America, Schyns told the news agency.

Heineken's presence on the continent consists of a stake in CCU, which operates in Argentina and Chile, a holding in Brazil's Kaiser, and activities in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Industry rumours throughout this year have suggested that SABMiller, Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, InBev and Scottish & Newcastle had all at some point considered acquiring a majority stake in Bavaria. Speaking to just-drinks yesterday, SABMiller's CEO, Graham Mackay confirmed that there had been four bids on the table, and the Santo Domingo family, which owned a 75% holding in Bavaria, whittled them down through a "reverse due diligence" process.