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Competition watchdog clears Heineken acquisition of Singapore beer firm

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has cleared the acquisition of Singapore beer firm GAPL by Dutch brewing giant Heineken, the watchdog said on Tuesday (Jul 19).

GAPL holds the licences for the ABC Extra Stout, Guinness Draught and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout brands in Singapore. The company is registered here but listed in Malaysia.

The deal would see Heineken acquiring the entire issued and outstanding ordinary share capital of GAPL through its subsidiary Heineken Asia Pacific.

“CCS has assessed that the transaction has not substantially lessened competition in the supply of beers in Singapore, which includes ale, lager and stouts,” the watchdog said.

The production and distribution of the beer brands would not be affected, CCS added. “In particular, the distribution of ABC Extra Stout and Guinness Stout in Singapore was, before and after the transaction, still undertaken by Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary within the Heineken Group.”

As such, the acquisition has not changed the “relative bargaining power” between Heineken and its customers that would allow the brewer to raise prices or impose exclusivities, the watchdog said.

CCS said it issued its clearance decision on Jun 30, after reviewing Heineken’s submissions and feedback from customers and competitors during a public consultation held from Nov 17 to 27 last year.

19 Jul. 2016

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