Markets, Strategies, and Rivalries
- New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Jens Gammelgaard and Christoph Dörrenbächer
Chapter 8: Post-acquisition resource redeployment and synergy creation: the case of Heineken’s large acquisitions Scottish & Newcastle and FEMSA
In a recent TV commercial, a Lilliputian, followed by a Protestant priest, an orthodox Jew, a nun, a neurotic (with his beloved duck), a football hooligan, a model and a horse, walk into a bar. As the commercial tells us, they all came to have a Heineken beer. This commercial is precisely what Heineken is about: selling beer, and, in particular, selling its top brand Heineken to as many people as possible throughout the world. It is quite a tradition at Heineken to see the whole world as a market. Immediately after Heineken’s foundation in the second half of the 19th century the company started exporting beer to neighbouring European countries. From 1914 onwards licensed production took place in regions as diverse as Asia, America and the Caribbean. The first foreign direct investments were undertaken in the 1920s in Belgium and the Dutch East Indies (Jacobs and Maas 1991). Today, Heineken (in its own words) ‘is a proud, independent global brewer committed to surprise and excite consumers everywhere’, with its flagship brand ‘Heineken’, considered to be ‘the first and only truly global beer brand, enjoyed in 178 countries around the world’ (Heineken 2012a, p. 3).
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