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News alert: Heineken says licence agreement with Whitbread remains after Interbrew deal

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Heineken will keep its licence agreement with UK brewer Whitbread, once it has been sold to Belgian brewer Interbrew, the company said in a statement.As just-drinks reported earlier in the week, Interbrew is the likely buyer for UK brewer Whitbread and is estimated to pay between £350m and £400m. No formal announcement has been made by the producer of Stella Artois but Heineken's statement does seem to pre-empt the deal. Heineken said: "Within the framework of the sale of the brewing division of Whitbread, Heineken's license partner in the UK, it has been agreed that Whitbread will comply with the current license agreement with Heineken. To this end Whitbread will retain the production, marketing and sales people and the necessary production capacity.Whitbread, Interbrew and Heineken have discussed the sale in advance of today's announcement and will continue to co-operate in the best interests of the customers and brands."Neither Whitbread or Interbrew were available for comment.


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