February 11, 2015 / 8:45 PM / 5 years ago

Colombia okays local Heineken brewing by Postobon, Chile's CCU

BOGOTA, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Colombia’s financial regulator has approved a deal under which local soft drinks maker Postobon will produce and sell Heineken beer in the Andean country through a partnership with Heineken’s affiliate in Chile, the Compania Cervecerias Unidas.

The move by the two companies, including construction of a factory to brew and bottle the Dutch lager, will increase competition in Colombia’s beer sector, the regulator said, especially considering Postobon’s large distribution network.

Postobon, Colombia’s biggest non-alcoholic distributor and Chilean brewer and bottler Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU) controlled by Heineken and holding company Quinenco SA will invest $400 million in equal shares in the venture over three to four years.

It will operate under the name Central Cervecera de Colombia.

Colombia’s beer market is majority controlled by Bavaria, a subsidiary of SABMiller. Its brands include Aguila and Club Colombia. (Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Peter Murphy and David Gregorio)

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