USA: Heineken and Molson Coors sign import agreement for Sol beer in the US

On Tuesday, Heineken and Molson Coors Brewing Company jointly announced they have signed an agreement for importing, marketing and distributing Heineken’s Sol brand in the United States through Molson Coor’s US division MillerCoors. The agreement will start this fall and has a duration of 10 years. Sol will continue to be brewed in Mexico by Heineken’s  Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, which operates 6 plants in Mexico located in Monterrey, Tecate, Navojoa, Guadalajara, Toluca, Orizaba.

Both brewers see the opportunity to focus on key areas of growth within each of their portfolios, while increasing attention and investment toward market opportunities within North America .

For MillerCoors , the agreement helps balance their portfolio with an authentic Mexican beer.  The company had not yet participated in the promising Mexican import business. Last year, import of beer from Mexico into the US has risen by 6%, while the overall beer market declined.

For Heineken USA , the agreement allows for greater focus and additional investments with their other Mexican beers, led by Tecate and Dos Equis—according to the company two of the most popular and fastest growing Mexican beers in North America .

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Commenting on the agreement, Mark Hunter, President and CEO of Molson Coors said: "Given the steady growth of the Mexican import segment in the US over the past few years, the addition of Sol represents a key addition to our portfolio. We are excited to be offering consumers even greater choice with the addition of Sol, and are confident we can grow the beer based on the brand's strong equity and the added reach of MillerCoors' national distribution network. This agreement clearly demonstrates the added speed and flexibility that comes with being the single owner of the US business, which allows us to quickly capitalize on strategic opportunities like this."

Marc Busain, President of Heineken Americas added: "As far as Mexican beers go, Heineken USA is fantastically positioned with two strong brands in Dos Equis and Tecate. This effort helps focus our current portfolio, while accelerating Sol in the short and long-term."

On 11 January 2010, Heineken International and Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA), a Mexican multinational beverage and retail company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico announced the sale of FEMSA’s beer activities in exchange for a 20% economic interest in Heineken, making FEMSA the second biggest shareholder in the Dutch company.  The transaction was valued $7.6 billion.

The deal included FEMSA’s Mexican beer business with a 43% market share of the Mexican beer market at that time and a 9% beer market share in Brazil, making Heineken one of the leading breweries in Latin America. Last week, Heineken announced the finalization of the purchase of Brasil Kirin, lifting Heineken’s market share in Brazil to 17.8% (, 1.6.2017).

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