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Heineken Rebuffs Thirsty Miller

Amsterdam-based brewing conglomerate Heineken International have refused to consider a buy-out proposal from the London-based SABMiller.

Heineken is the world’s third-largest brewer, SABMiller is the second-largest. Both are dwarfed by the Belgian-Brazilian Anheuser-Busch InBev, and SABMiller’s interest in acquiring Heineken has much to do with trying to defend itself against Anheuser-Busch.

Rejecting any possibility of a buy-out, the largest Heineken shareholders, the Heineken family, cited their determination to “preserve the heritage and identity of Heineken as an independent company”.

Presumably, this includes the part of their identity that was fined €219.3m by the European commission in 2007 for operating a price fixing cartel that controlled 95% of the Dutch market, and the part that complained to Bob Geldof, in 1995, that a show he was producing, and which they were sponsoring, was not performing in line with their marketing strategy because the viewership contained “too high a proportion of negroes”.

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