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HEINEKEN:Preferred bidder for Bedele and Harar (Ethiopia)

HEINEKEN:Preferred bidder for Bedele and Harar (Ethiopia)

5.5.2011 10:42

The government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has named the company as the preferred bidder for the Bedele and Harar breweries. The winning bids for the breweries were US$ 85 million and US$ 78 million, respectively. Heineken (41 EUR, 0,27%) will now work with the government to finalise the transaction. The decision follows Heineken's participation in the public auction for the two breweries. The transaction is another step in increasing the exposure to Africa, where Heineken posts its highest profit margins.

Ethiopia is a promising beer market. The two breweries have a combined market share of 18% with brands such as Bedele, Harar, Hakim Stout and Harar Sofi (malt). Ethiopia is Africa's secondmost populated country with 85 million people and its beer market (3 million hectolitres in 2010, source Plato) grew approximately 20% per year over the past 5 years, compared to a GDP growth of 8%. Beer and non-alcoholic malt consumption in Ethiopia was approximately 4 litres per capita in 2010, which is well below the global average of 27 litres and below beer consumption in neighbouring countries, such as Tanzania (7 litres), Uganda (9 litres) and Kenya (10 litres). In addition to a fast growing population and a developing beer market, the country's political stability and improving economy, make Ethiopia a promising, long-term growth market for Heineken in Africa.

Renewal of € 2bn revolving credit facility:
This morning Heineken also announced the successful closing of a new Revolving Credit Facility for an amount of € 2 billion with a syndicate of 17 banks. The new multi-currency facility replaces Heineken's existing € 2 billion Revolving Credit Facility which was scheduled to mature 22 April 2012. The new self-arranged credit line has a tenor of five years with two 1-year extension options and can be used for general corporate purposes (including acquisitions).

Conclusion:
The interest in the Ethiopian breweries was already known as well as the above-mentioned bidding prices. We welcome the likely expansion in Africa given the superior growth profile of this region. BUY and € 50 target price maintained.


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