Taiwan: Heineken to buy Long Chuan Zuan Co. brewery

Heineken is going to be the first international brewer to buy a brewery in Taiwan. The Dutch brewing group informed today it has reached an agreement with Sanyo Whisbih Group to acquire LongChuan Zuan Co. brewery in Neipu, a rural township in the south-west of the island close to Kaohsiung City.

The deal has already been approved by Taiwan's Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs but the terms of the acquisition settlement have not yet been completed. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Taiwan's beer industry was tightly regulated until 2002, when Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). Main domestic brand is Taiwan Beer, brewed by the state owned Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL), a manufacturer and distributor of cigarettes and alcohol, that succeeded the government's monopoly bureau in 2002. Taiwan Beer is still by far the biggest beer brand in Taiwan and was also subject of the so-called 'beer wars' with China.

Long Chuan, a brand by the Taiwan Tsing Beer Corporation which is part of Sanyo Whisbih Group is one of the largest competitors of Taiwan Beer in the domestic market. It is believed that once the brand is fully owned by Heineken, it will be an even more serious competitor to the state-owned brand.

Heineken beer was first introduced in Taiwan in 1987. The first office was established in 2002. According to the company, Heineken Taiwan has today six offices throughout the country, with an annual total revenue of TWD 6 billion (USD 203 million), the Dutch company said. This makes Taiwan the second-largest export market in the world for Heineken, after the United States. Main brands are Heineken, Tiger, Strongbow and Edelweiss.

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