Heineken expands into Ecuador’s beer market

Heineken has acquired a minority stake in Biela y Bebidas del Ecuador, the Ecuadorian brewer of the recently re-launched Biela beer – made at its brewery in Guayaquil, the South American country’s largest city.

In addition to Biela, Dutch-based global brewer Heineken plans to market its portfolio of premium and international brands in Ecuador and in future also intends to brew a Heineken beer locally.

“We are pleased to announce our investment in Ecuador,” said Marc Busain, president of the business in the Americas at Heineken. “With its favourable demographics, flourishing tourism industry and GDP growth, it offers a lot of potential to grow our premium offering, led by the Heineken brand. We are excited to grow our business in Ecuador in close collaboration with our new partners.”

Ecuador’s gross domestic product is projected to grow at a rate of 5.7 per cent in the next 10 years. The domestic beer market produces six million hectolitres per year, giving a relatively low consumption per capita of 39 litres when compared to other South American countries. In addition, the Ecuadorian government is supportive of foreign investment and of introducing competition in the beer market.

“We are very pleased to have completed this alliance with Heineken, which is good news for Ecuador and its consumers, who will have a wider and better choice of beer products,” said Luis Enrique Landinez, chief executive of Biela Ecuador. “The successful re-launch of the Biela brand, its current recognition in the market, and the favourable investment environment generated by the Ecuadorian Government have successfully drawn Heineken into Ecuador.”

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.