Heineken moves on Spanish market

Dutch brewing giant buys Cruzcampo from British conglomerate

June 10, 1999 - Brewing giant Heineken has reached agreement with British food and drinks conglomerate Diageo PLC to buy its 88% share of Cruzcampo, Spain's largest brewery.


Cruzcampo accounts for a quarter of beer sold in Spain, the third-largest beer market in the European Union. Heineken, based in Holland, already owns a majority stake in that country's No. 3 brewer, El Aguila. It will now commands a 37% share of the Spanish market.

Heineken's strategy in Spain largely mirrors what it has done in Poland, where it has become the No. 1 brewer through a series of acquisitions. Its share in Spain puts that country in line with the company's interests in France and Italy

The sale requires approval by the European Commission, but a Diageo spokeswoman said the companies do not anticipate any problems.

By selling Cruzcampo, Diageo further streamlines its product range to focus on better-selling brands like Guinness Stout and the Johnnie Walker and J&B Scotch whisky labels.

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