With the global cider market booming, Heineken has announced its acquisition of Stassen, a leading international cider innovator located in Aubel, Belgium. In addition to its strong research and development (R&D) capabilities and facilities, the acquisition of Stassen provides Heineken with cider making capacity in continental Europe.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.
The strategic acquisition of Stassen comes at a time when the international cider category is gaining momentum. Heineken, the global cider category leader, is positioning itself to benefit from this trend through innovative new product offerings, such as Bulmers No. 17 and Jacques cider, as well as the international roll-out of its global cider priority brand Strongbow Gold.
Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken, commented: “We are excited about Stassen Ciders and its employees becoming part of the Heineken company. Stassen’s strong R&D and innovation capabilities will serve us well in a time when there is a lot of new product activity in the category. Consumers around the world are increasingly intrigued by cider and its unique, refreshing taste, 100% natural ingredients and rich heritage and we are well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity.”
Philippe Stassen, MD of Stassen, added: "By integrating Stassen Ciders into the Heineken company and becoming its cider R&D centre, we are strengthening our leading position in the category's premium market segment. This is a great opportunity for our employees and for our site in Aubel, which will further enhance its international scope. We are looking forward to the next phase of our growth story."
Stassen operates a cider making facility, a R&D facility - including a new product pilot plant - and a de-alcoholisation facility for cider, beer and wine. The company has unique cider R&D knowledge and expertise and was closely involved in the development of several of Heineken’s recently introduced ciders, such as Strongbow Gold, Jacques and Bulmers No. 17.
Heineken is the world’s leading cider maker, based on its number-one position in the UK – the world’s largest cider market – and market positions in countries such as Finland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Canada and the United States.
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