Netherlands-based brewing major Heineken NV (AMS:HEIA) said today it had bought Belgian cider maker Stassen SA from its management for an undisclosed sum.
Through the deal, which is pending customary closing conditions, Heineken gains solid research and development capabilities and facilities as well as cider production capacity in continental Europe, it added.
The buyer said that its decision to purchase the Belgian firm was prompted by the increasing interest in the international cider category. Heineken added that it is strengthening its position by introducing new products, such as Bulmers No. 17 and Jacques cider, as well as through the international roll-out of its global cider priority brand Strongbow Gold.
Heineken’s chief commercial officer Alexis Nasard said that the company will keep Stassen Ciders’ staff. Stassen’s managing director Philippe Stassen added that the firm will become Heineken’s cider R&D centre, thus boosting its position in the category’s premium market segment.
Stassen runs a cider manufacturing plant, a R&D facility, including a new product pilot plant, as well as a de-alcoholisation facility for cider, beer and wine. The firm has collaborated with Heineken in the development of the latter’s Strongbow Gold, Jacques and Bulmers No. 17 ciders.