After more than three decades, Heineken is going to end its joint venture with Kirin for the sale of its consumer products in Japan. The JV named Heineken Kirin which was founded in 1989 and in which Heineken owns 51% and Kirin the rest will be dissolved and Heineken will buy out its partner and rename the company.
From April, Heineken will convert the joint venture under the new name Heineken Japan into a wholly-owned subsidiary that bundles all sales of canned and bottled Heineken products to final customers. Kirin continues to brew and handle sales to commercial clients. The business with private clients accounts for about 70% to 80% of Heineken’s total sales volume of 690,000 cases (approx. 60,000 hl) in Japan.
"Kirin Brewery will continue to maintain and strengthen its ability to make proposals in the on-trade and leverage Heineken's global-scale brand power while considering Heineken Japan's intention to focus on volume sales. Kirin Brewery and Heineken Japan will both take over the various functions previously performed by Heineken Kirin,” a Heineken spokesperson told the press.
For the future, Kirin plans a renewed partnership with Heineken with a focus on craft beer, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.