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Heineken Seals $400M Bravo Deal

Published: February 5, 2002 (Issue # 742)


Europe's biggest brewer, Dutch-based Heineken, announced on Friday that it had signed an agreement to acquire St. Petersburg's Bravo Holding for $400 million.

The purchase, which officials at Heineken said would help them move into a Russian market that still has room for growth, not only brings the European holding the popular local Bochkarev brand, but will also allow more market penetration for its own flagship label.

"With this acquisition, Heineken gains a foothold in the expanding beer market in Russia," a statement released by the firm said. "The transaction is valued at a maximum amount of $400 million, provided that volume and price targets are met in the next 12 months."

According to Manel Vrijenhoek, press officer at Heineken, the price is a reasonable one to pay for Bravo's facilities, brands and expertise.

"We think that it's a good price for a company that has shown such strong growth," she said in telephone interview on Monday. "The next few years will bring at least 6-percent annual growth, especially considering that there is room for growth on the beer market."

"And, as we already have such a strong position in Europe, the company's management decided to focus on markets in Russia, Asia and Latin America," she added. She also said that Heineken planned to launch a line producing its own beer here.

"Because Russia has very high import duties, the Heineken brand will have a competitive advantage in the Russian premium market when it is brewed inside the country itself," she said. "Basically, we are not planning to change Bravo's structure and strategy because we see no point in reorganizing a system that is working well. We will fill some positions in management, while the present team will likely stay."

Bravo International was set up in 1993 by two Icelandic businessmen, Thor Bjorgolfsson and Magnus Thorsteinsson. The local brewing facility, which began production in 1999, is the sixth-largest single-site brewery in Europe.

Although the brewery has only been in production for three years, Bravo has already acquired a 17-percent share of the St. Petersburg market and a 7-percent market share in Moscow, according to a Heineken statement. The company's highest-profile brands are Okhota and Bochkarev. The brewery also produces the Lowenbrau brand under license.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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