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Heineken enters Ecuador with acquisition of local brewer Biela

Heineken has entered the Ecuadorian beer market with the acquisition of a majority stake in Biela Ecuador from a group of mainly local investors.

Over the past few years, Biela Ecuador has established itself in Ecuador by relaunching the Biela brand, whose brewery is located in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city.

In addition to Biela, Heineken intends to market its own portfolio of premium and international brands, led by Heineken. The firm also plans to brew Heineken beer locally in due course.

With GDP projected to grow at a 5.7% rate (CAGR) in the next ten years, Ecuador represents a “very attractive market”, according to Heineken. The Dutch brewer said Ecuador has a relatively low consumption per capita of beer of 39 litres when compared to other South American countries.

Marc Busain, president Americas at Heineken, said: “We are pleased to announce our investment in Ecuador. With its favourable demographics, flourishing tourism industry and GDP growth, it offers a lot of potential to grow our premium offering, led by the Heineken brand. We are excited to grow our business in Ecuador in close collaboration with our new partners.”

Luis Enrique Landinez, CEO of Biela Ecuador, added: “We are very pleased to have completed this alliance with Heineken, which is good news for Ecuador and its consumers, who will have a wider and better choice of beer products.

“The successful relaunch of the Biela brand, its current recognition in the market, and the favourable investment environment generated by the Ecuadorian government have successfully drawn Heineken into Ecuador.”

The deal sees Heineken continue its international expansion and comes two months after the company opened its first brewery in Mozambique following a $100 million investment. In December, the firm bought a majority stake in Spanish craft brewer La Cibeles in a move to boost the brand’s distribution and export capacity.

In its most recent quarterly results published last week, Heineken saw its beer volume grow organically by 3.2% in the Americas.