Bloomberg News

Heineken Explores Disposal of Dutch Soft-Drinks Unit

May 02, 2013

Heineken Said to Explore Disposal of Dutch Soft-Drinks Business

Mountain Dew is one of the soft drink brands managed by Vrumona in the Netherlands. Photographer: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy

Heineken NV (HEIA), the world’s third-biggest brewer, is seeking a buyer for its Vrumona soft-drink business in the Netherlands, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Vrumona may fetch at least 500 million euros ($658 million), said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the process isn’t complete. Bidders are already examining the business, which Heineken has mandated JPMorgan Chase & Co. to sell, the two people said.

Vrumona has been a fully consolidated unit of Amsterdam- based Heineken since 1968. It owns brands including Royal Club and Crystal Clear and produces drinks such as Pepsi and Gatorade under license, according to its website.

Heineken, which in February said it was reviewing its Finnish unit Hartwall, is cutting costs across Europe to counter waning sales and profitability in the region. The company reined back annual growth expectations April 24 after beer volume plunged 8.8 percent in western Europe in the first quarter.

John Clarke, a spokesman for Heineken, declined to comment on a potential sale of Vrumona.

An official at JPMorgan also declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Aaron Kirchfeld in London at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net; Clementine Fletcher in London at cfletcher5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net


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