Coca-Cola FEMSA the largest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world in terms of sales volume, and Coca-Cola Andina another large Coca-Cola bottler in South America confirmed on Wednesday an agreement to acquire the Brazilian specialty beer brand Therezópolis. The transaction is part of Coca-Cola’s long-term strategy to complement its portfolio of beer brands in Brazil and follows the termination of the distribution contract for certain Heineken brands.
In February 2021, Coca-Cola FEMSA and Heineken settled a dispute (inside.beer, 24.2.2021) which arose from Heineken’s acquisition of the former Schincariol breweries from Japan’s Kirin Holdings in 2017 (inside.beer, 13.2.2017, inside.beer, 1.6.2017) and the following termination of all distribution contracts with Coca-Cola. Heineken argued at that time that it made economically no sense to continue the distribution through Coca-Cola because it had acquired from Kirin not only brands and breweries but also a sales network. Working with two separate distribution networks in Brazil was no viable option, the Dutch brewer said.
As per the new agreement, the parties started a smooth transition of the Heinekenand Amstel brands to Heineken Brazil’s distribution network. The Coca-Cola distribution network in Brazil will continue to offer Kaiser, Bavaria and Sol, and will complement this portfolio with premium brand Eisenbahn and international brands such as Tiger.
“We're clearly extremely happy with the portfolio that we are building with Heineken not only on the current brands,” Constantino Spas Montesinos, Chief Financial Officer at Coca-Cola Femsa said at an earnings call on July 27. “But […] there are some interesting innovations and interesting brands and launches that we will put through our platform with the Heineken company. […]
“So we're currently in conversations with a series of other international brewers, as well as some interesting ideas on local brands. This is ongoing, and we will be able to deploy this, no doubt, in the upcoming months. I think we're going to end up with a very solid portfolio, a portfolio that covers, all the way from economy to super premium segments in Brazil that are very relevant with different type of beer offerings,” he added
However, the company will seek to complement the beer portfolio without becoming a producer.
“This is complemented by the work that we're doing and expanding with Diageo in Brazil, on other categories, right on spirits. So if you look at it from an on-premise, customer-centric value proposition delivery, I think that we in the near future are going to have an extremely solid proposition for customers. And that's where we would like to focus our attention.” Spas concluded his remarks.
Therezópolis was founded in 1912 by the grandson of Danish immigrant Alfredo Claussen in Teresópolis, in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro. Its industrial production was interrupted in 1922, and then resumed in 2006 by a descendant of Claussen. It is today a premium artisan brand and is considered an intermediate-sized brand, standing between small regional craft beer brands and big nationally distributed beer brands.
Coca-Cola FEMSA is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world in terms of sales volume. The company is headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico. In almost two million points of sale the company sells about 3.3 billion boxes per year. Coca-Cola FEMSA has 49 manufacturing units and 268 distribution centers across 10 countries in Latin America. In Brazil, it has been operating for 18 years.
Coca-Cola Andina is also a bottler of Coca-Cola products, and claims to be among the three largest in Latin America. The company is headquartered in Chile and operates in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. It is the largest producer of soft drinks in Chile and the chief producer, bottler, and distributor of Coca-Cola soft drinks in Chile. It also produces and distributes these products in parts of Argentina and Brazil, where it is one of the largest soft drink producers. In addition to its Coca-Cola soft drinks business, Andina through its subsidiaries produces and distributes fruit juices, other fruit-flavored beverages, and mineral water in Chile under trademarks owned by The Coca-Cola Company. In Argentina, the company, through a subsidiary, distributes ready-to-drink juices and produces and sells mineral water. In Brazil, subsidiaries distribute beer and mineral water and also sell and distribute ready-to-drink juices and energy drinks.
The sale of the Therezópolis brand is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021.