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A bottle of Heineken beer in ice. (MATTHEW LEE/REUTERS)
A bottle of Heineken beer in ice. (MATTHEW LEE/REUTERS)

Heineken to sell Mexican can, bottle maker to Crown Holdings Add to ...

Dutch brewer Heineken has agreed to sell its Mexican packaging business Empaque to Crown Holdings Inc. of Philadelphia for $1.23-billion (U.S.) including debt, shedding a non-core business it acquired when entering the Mexican market in 2010.

The world’s third-largest beer maker said on Monday that the sale would allow it to focus resources on brewing and marketing its lagers, ales and ciders.

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Heineken said the sale of Empaque, which generated revenue of $660-million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $130-million in 2013, would result in a post-tax book gain of about €300-million ($394-million).

The deal will preserve Empaque’s position as a can, cork and glass bottler supplier for Heineken through long-term contracts.

The Dutch company said it was already on course to reach its target of a net debt/EBITDA ratio below 2.5 times by the end of the year, when the deal was expected to close, although Monday’s announced sale would give it further financial flexibility.

At the end of June, that ratio stood at 2.5 times.

Heineken became the number two player in Mexico when it bought the beer business of Mexican bottler and retailer Femsa

in 2010. The latter now owns 20 per cent of Heineken directly or via Heineken Holding.

Food packaging company Crown is a leading drinks can and metal container maker operating in 40 countries.

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