Heineken has established a joint venture with Efes Breweries International to invest in the Uzbeki beer market by acquiring breweries.
 
The companies said today (28 January) that the deal will involve Heineken holding 40% of the shares in the joint venture, while EBI will be responsible for operational management and will hold 60%. Financial details of the tie-up were not disclosed.
 
In addition, the companies plan to combine their operations in the Kazakh and Serbian beer markets during the first quarter.

EBI is the second-largest brewer in Kazakhstan and the third largest brewer in Serbia, while Heineken is the fifth largest brewer in Kazakhstan and is looking to acquire Serbia's fourth largest brewer Rodic.

Following the completion of the deal, EBI and Heineken said they could potentially hold 72% and 28% respectively of the combined Serbian business.

Heineken regional president for Central and Eastern Europe Nico Nusmeier said: "With the combined resources, skills and brands of our two businesses, we believe that we will be able to drive stronger, faster growth than would be possible separately. From a strategic Heineken perspective, this deal also leaves us well positioned to achieve leadership positions in three fast growing Central and Eastern European beer markets."
 
EBI chairman and CEO Alejandro Jimenez added: "We are very excited to access the dynamic Uzbek market with Heineken as a strong ally. We believe this structure will enable us to best capitalise on the future growth potential of the Uzbek market. We are also happy to set-up a structure whereby we will command a much stronger competitive position in Kazakhstan and Serbia."
 
EBI is a majority-owned subsidiary of the Turkish company Anadolu Efes Biracilik ve Malt Sanayii AS and operates in Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Serbia, where the company has ten breweries.