R. Antón. Journalist
Heineken España has acquired 51% of Madrid brewer La Cibeles as part of a framework agreement that represents a "true milestone in the development of craft beer" in Spain.
As a result of this transaction, La Cibeles, one of Spain's most prestigious craft beer brands, will accelerate its growth with the support of Heineken; this will include expanding its facilities and strengthening its capacity for distribution and exports.
"Expectations are very positive for both companies," group sources told Wikispanishfood, though they did not reveal the sales price.
According to Heineken España, the merger was "completely friendly" and La Cibeles, its staff and its executive team will continue to be managed independently. That team will continue to be helmed by David Castro, "one of Spain's top craft beer experts."
Heineken is well aware of consumer interest in craft beer and its capacity to generate valuable experiences for consumers, and it moved into the segment years ago. In fact, this operation became public just a few months after the inauguration of its first microbrewery, La Fábrica de Cruzcampo, a unique space for beer lovers that opened in Málaga in January of 2018, and the announcement of a major renovation of its head offices in Seville, which will enable it to brew beer again in the same place Cruzcampo was created.
"Heineken España's growth strategy is based on innovation and the development of a growing beer culture. We're growing internally, strengthening our leading position in Spain and Europe, where we're already one of Heineken N.V.'s key markets," said the same sources.
"After developing new successful products such as Cruzcampo Especial, Heineken 0.0, Ladrón de Manzanas and Amstel Radler—two drinks that have introduced two new categories in Spain: cider and Radler—now we're partnering with companies like La Cibeles, whose philosophy based on quality, creativity and craftsmanship aligns perfectly with our commitment to continuous improvement and meeting consumer demands."
Accordingly, La Cibeles further strengthens Heineken España's commitment to the Madrid region, where its San Sebastián de los Reyes factory celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Now it also has the La Cibeles factory in Leganés.