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BRAZIL: AmBev and Danone Group Buy Controlling Stake of Salus - Uruguay

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Companhia de Bebidas das Americas -- AmBev -- and Danone Group agreed to buy 57.34% of Compania Salus. The acquisition was made through a joint company of which Danone Group holds 73.75% and AmBev the remaining 26.25%. The change of control will take place in October this year.The acquisition is part of AmBev's strategy in expanding internationally and the interest in Salus was due to its strong presence in the beer and mineral water. Salus is the second largest brewer in Uruguay and the leader in mineral water. Salus has approximately 24% of the beer market in Uruguay and produces a flagship brand "Patricia." It is also a leader in the mineral water with an approximately 42% market share.Salus owns two plants, one water plant and one beer and soft drink plant. Salus has 430 employees and 36 exclusive third party distributors. Salus net sales were US$ 30 million in 1999 and sold 190 thousand hectoliters of beer and 850 thousand hectoliters of mineral water in 1999.


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