Asia, Latin America, the Middle East - Dutch brewer Heineken has been spreading its wings in recent weeks with a number of acquisitions and agreements in lesser-known beer markets where its major international rivals have little, if any, presence.
This same plan of attack features in the company's latest acquisition - that of a majority stake in Kazakhstan-based brewer Dinal. Heineken already held a 28 per cent stake in the company, but has now lifted this 51 per cent following an agreement with the company's other shareholders. Heineken took its stake in 1999, the year Dinal began production.
Dinal has a market share of 8 per cent with its own brand Tian Shan and Heineken's Amstel. The sales capacity of the brewery is 300,000 hectolitres and the estimated sales volume for 2002 is 180,000 hectolitres. In 2001, company posted sales of €8 million.
The decision to increase its participation in Dinal is in line with Heineken's stated policy of investing in emerging beer markets - such as Egypt, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, in all of which the group has been active in the last month or so - but also because of the spectacular growth in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan in recent years.
The beer market there reached 2.4 million hectolitres in 2002, and volumes are growing by double digits each year.