Heineken Acquires Red Stripe Beer from Diageo

The Jamaican beer brand Red Stripe has changed hands.

As part of a $780.5-million deal announced yesterday, Heineken has agreed to buy controlling ownership of Jamaican alcohol-producer Desnoes & Geddes from Diageo. Among D&G’s assets is the beer brand Red Stripe.

Diageo had previously owned a 57.9% stake in D&G, while Heineken had just 15.5%. After buying up the entirety of Diageo’s stake, Heineken now has a 73.3% stake.

D&G also owns the Dragon beer brand. The license to use Red Stripe and Dragon in connection with the manufacture, production, selling, distribution and/or marketing in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, was previously held by Diageo. Affiliates of Heineken will become the new license holder for Red Stripe and Dragon in these countries, beginning January 1, 2016.

As part of the same deal, Heineken also:

  • Obtained full ownership of GAPL Pte Ltd (“GAPL”), having acquired Diageo’s shareholding, which was slightly lower than 50%. GAPL owns 51% of the issued share capital of Guinness Anchor Berhad (“GAB”), which is listed on the Malaysian Stock Exchange. GAPL is also the licensee for Guinness and ABC Stout distribution for the Singapore market.
  • Sold its 20% ownership stake in Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (“GGBL”) to Diageo.
  • Entered into licensing agreements with Diageo for each other’s brands currently in the respective portfolios in Jamaica and Ghana.

“Today’s transaction represents another important step towards ensuring that our portfolio of assets and participations is optimally structured to support our strategic agenda,” said Jean-François van Boxmeer, Heineken CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board. “Having greater commercial control in the important regions of South-East Asia and the Caribbean will allow us to maximise the strong potential of our brands in these growth markets.”

“Our close collaboration with Diageo has been very productive over the years and I would like to thank them for their valued partnership,” he added.

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