Spain: Heineken buys majority share in craft brewer La Cibeles

Heineken continues this year’s shopping tour by acquiring a majority stake in Spanish craft brewer La Cibeles. The brewery was established in July 2010 in Leganés, on the outskirts of Spain’s capital Madrid by a group of entrepreneurs headed by David Castro, who had previously been a private homebrewer.

Heineken said in a statement that the alliance will be carried out "in a friendly way" and La Cibeles will maintain its independence in its management. The Dutch brewing group intends to enhance distribution and start export of La Cibeles "to bring its essence to more consumers around the world." This also makes it necessary to increase production capacity in Leganés to be prepared for the envisaged growth of the company. However, Heineken pointed out that the craft brewer will be incorporated "into a multi-local company that respects its commitment to quality over quantity."

The purchase of La Cibeles is part of a row of several acquisitions by Heineken this year. Just one month ago Heineken’s Polish unit Grupa Żywiec has signed an agreement to fully acquire Browar Namysłów, one of the largest regional breweries in Poland with a yearly production of about 1.7 hl (, 14.11.2018)

In August Heineken anounced to buy a 40% share in China’s leading brewer China Resources Beer Holding (CRH Beer) at a price of a $3.1 billion. (, 3.8.2018)

In May, Heineken bought a minority stake in Belize Brewing Company, the beer market leader in the Central American country (, 11.5.2018). Thea same month Heineken also made an investement in Beavertown Brewery, a craft brewery located in London/UK (, 26.5.2018).

Other craft breweries recently bought by Heineken include Birrificio Hibu from Italy (, 17.10.2017) and the three South African craft breweries Stellenbrau (, 10.4.2017), Soweto Brewing Company and Jack Black. (, 19.2.2018)

Heineken is the second largest brewer in Spain with about 10 million hl and runs production facilities in Sevilla, Madrid, Valencia and Jaén. Earlier this year Heineken said it had plans to downsize its Spanish workforce by 220 employees from currently 2,400 in “a common transformation process”. (, 5.2.2018)

In January 2017, international brewers AB InBev and MolsonCoors already entered the Spanish craft beer market with the purchase of CervezasLa Virgen from Madrid (, 12.1.2017) and Cervezas La Sagra from Toledo (, 30.1.2017).

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