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RUSSIA: Heineken on acquisition trail - report

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Heineken has set its sights on acquisitions in Russia, according to press reports. In yesterday's (30 November) China Daily, the brewer's CFO, Rene Hooft Graafland, was quoted as saying that Heineken will consider additional transactions to boost its market share from 7.5% once it has absorbed recent acquisitions.

"Russians have more and more money and they want to spend it," Hooft Graafland said in an interview in London. "The younger generation is living a completely different life to the one their parents led, and they want more and more to identify with national and international beers they like."

In August, Heineken agreed to buy Central European Brewing to gain 95% of the Shikhan Brewery in Sterlitamak, eastern Russia, and all of the Volga Brewery in Nizhny Novgorod, the country's third-biggest city. Less than nine weeks later, it announced the purchase of a brewery in Novosibirsk.

"I don't exclude that in the future we will add another company to our Russian business because we want to further reinforce our position," Hooft Graafland said.

In Russia, Heineken ranks third behind Baltika Brewery, a joint-venture between Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle, and  InBev. Heineken's share has fallen by 0.9% this year, while InBev has gained 32%.


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