NETHERLANDS: Heineken moves closer to completing Eichhof purchase
Heineken's public tender offer for the beverage division of Switzerland's Eichhof Holdings has closed.
The Netherlands-based brewer confirmed late last week that the tender, which expired on 3 July, has resulted in 96.54% of the shares in Eichhof Getränke Holding having been tendered. The offer for the newly-formed company can be completed once the Swiss Competition Commission (WEKO) has issued its approval, Heineken said.
Last month, Heineken Switzerland announced the acceptance of the public tender offer for all shares in Eichhof Getränke Holding. The provisional final result shows that, following expiry of the extended offer period, 162,230 registered shares were tendered, representing an investment of EUR167m (US$261.5m).
The shareholders of Eichhof Holding voted in favour of the demerger of the beverage division and the formation of Eichhof Getränke Holding at an Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting on 23 June.
The result of WEKO's investigation is expected at the end of September at the latest, Heineken said, although the commission said early last month that the purchase, which would give Heineken 23% market share in Switzerland, could result in a duopoly in the country's beer market, with Carlsberg's Feldschloesshen brewer.
Eichhof owns a brewery in Lucerne, which has a production capacity of 400,000 hectolitres and 2007 domestic beer sales of 361,000 hectolitres. Its main brand, Eichhof, is the leading mainstream beer in the Lucerne region. The company has an estimated 10% market share of the Swiss beer market, while soft drinks and wine account for 45% of total volumes. Heineken already owns one brewery in Switzerland, and currently accounts for 13% market share.
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