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Heineken bites into Transylvanian beer market

By Neil Merrett , 04-Mar-2008

Heineken says it hopes to consolidate its position within the high growth Romanian beer and mineral water market by acquiring Transylvania-based brewer Bere Mures for an as yet undisclosed fee.

The company said that the acquisition is expected to lift its market share in the country by five percentage points to 31 per cent, which it claims will cement its position as Romania's leading brewer. Heineken is currently in talks to jointly acquire UK-Based rival Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) with Carlsberg, though the latest deal is expected to extend its presence in the emerging Eastern European beer segment. Nico Nusmeier, president for the group's operations in the region said the purchase would not only further diversify its regional product offering, but also better position the brewer to add value to its products in the future. The brewer, which employs 394 staff and boasts a total production capacity of 1.6m hectolitres, will be added to Heineken's four existing operations in the country, which are situated in Constanta, Craiova, Hateg and Miercurea Ciuc. Heineken claims this will take its annual beer capacity in the country to 6m hectolitres. Along with adding beer brands such Neumarkt, Dracula and Sovata to Heineken's portfolio, the acquisition of Bere Mures will also include the Cezara sparkling and Cheile Cibului still water brands. Romania's beer market In terms of beer alone, Heineken said that national demand last year reached 19m hectolitres, amounting to per capita consumption of 89 litres, a figure expected to grow well into 2008, according to the group. Heineken is not the only brewer to have experienced impressive returns from the Romanian beer market however. Back in October, Multinational rival SABMiller said it had posted a 12 per cent increase in half year sales volumes for its European lager brands, on the back of growth in markets like Russia.


Romania led regional growth according to the company, with sales up 37 per cent, due to increased production capacity and the continued success of Timisoreana sales after the product was repackaged in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.