CCU is 60%-controlled by Heineken

CCU is 60%-controlled by Heineken

Molson Coors is to launch two of its beer brands in Chile through Heineken-controlled drinks company CCU.

Coors Light and Coors will be available from 12  January in on- and off-trade accounts throughout Chile, the North America-based brewer said yesterday.  The partnership targets growth in Chile's premium category, which last year accounted for one-fifth of the country's beer market, according to Nielsen figures. 

CCU, formerly known as Compania Cervecerias Unidas, is a Chile-headquartered multi-category drinks firm that is 60% owned by Heineken. In 2013 it acquired just over 50% of soft drinks and beer maker Bebidas del Paraguay, and just under 50% of a related distributor, also in Paraguay.

CCU yesterday welcomed the tie-up with Molson Coors, saying it is well-timed to appeal to a growing number of import beer drinkers in Chile. “The beer industry in Chile has shown impressive growth over the past five years,”  said Hugo Ovando, general manager of CCU’s beer division.

In November, CCU announced plans to launch into the Colombian beer market after signing a joint-venture deal with private conglomerate Postobón. An analyst said the move could threaten SABMiller's domination in the country, where subsidiary Bavaria controls an estimated 99% of volumes.