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FINLAND: Heineken lines up Hartwall sale to Royal Unibrew

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Heineken is to sell Hartwall to Denmark's Royal Unibrew for EUR470m (US$613m) in a deal expected to close before the end of the year.

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The Dutch brewer, which in April denied it was ready to offload the Finnish unit, said today (11 July) the sale is in Hartwall's best interests. Hartwall will continue to distribute Heineken brands in Finland and brew Foster's beer under licence in the country. 

“We are convinced that Hartwall's future development is best served as part of Royal Unibrew,” Heineken CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said. “We look forward to building on our business in the region working together with Royal Unibrew.”

Henrik Brandt, CEO of Royal Unibrew, said: “We really value Hartwall's market position, strong brands and considerable innovation, and the acquisition of Hartwall supports Royal Unibrew's strategy very well.”

Heineken has signed a "binding agreement" with Royal Unibrew and the deal, which is subject to approval from anti-trust authorities, should close in the fourth quarter, the brewer said.

Hartwall also distributes PepsiCo brands in Finland, a deal that Royal Unibrew said will be "fortified" because it holds a licence for PepsiCo products in Denmark.

Heineken put Hartwall under a strategic review in February after media reports claimed the unit was in line for a sale.


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