Heineken N.V.

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Heineken N.V.
TypeNaamloze vennootschap
Founded15 February 1864; 159 years ago (1864-02-15)
FounderGerard Adriaan Heineken
Area served
Key people
Dolf van den Brink (Chairman/CEO)[1]
Laurence Debroux (CFO)[1]
ProductsHeineken brands
RevenueIncrease €21.941 billion (2021)[2]
Increase € 4.483 million (2021)[2]
Increase €3.324 billion (2021)[2]
Total assetsIncrease €48.850 billion (2021)[2]
Total equityIncrease €19.700 billion (2021)[2]
OwnerCharlene de Carvalho-Heineken (23%)[3]
Fomento Económico Mexicano (14.8%)[4]
Number of employees
82,257 (2021)[2]

Heineken N.V. (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦɛinəkə(n)]) is a Dutch multinational brewing company, founded in 1864 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam. As of 2019, Heineken owns over 165 breweries in more than 70 countries. It produces 348 international, regional, local and speciality beers and ciders and employs approximately 85,000 people.[5]

With an annual beer production of 24.14 billion litres in 2019, and global revenues of 23.894 billion euro in 2019,[6] Heineken N.V. is the number one brewer in Europe and one of the largest brewers by volume in the world.[7] Heineken's Dutch breweries are located in Zoeterwoude, 's-Hertogenbosch and Wijlre. The original brewery in Amsterdam, closed in 1988, is preserved as a museum called Heineken Experience.

Since the merger between the two largest brewing empires in the world, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, in October 2016, Heineken has been the second-largest brewer in the world.[8]


Corporate logo used until 2011
Interior of the former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, which is now the museum Heineken Experience
Exterior of the former Heineken brewery in Amsterdam on Stadhouderskade and Ferdinand Bolstraat

Gerard Adriaan Heineken[edit]

The Heineken company was founded in 1864 when the 22-year-old Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought a brewery known as De Hooiberg (the haystack) in Amsterdam. In 1869 Heineken switched to the use of bottom-fermenting yeast. In 1873 the brewery's name changed to Heineken's Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij (HBM), and opened a second brewery in Rotterdam in 1874. In 1886 Dr. H. Elion, a pupil of the French chemist Louis Pasteur, developed the "Heineken A-yeast" in the Heineken laboratory. This yeast is still the key ingredient of Heineken beer.

Henry Pierre Heineken[edit]

The founder's son, Henry Pierre Heineken [nl], managed the company from 1917 to 1940, and continued involvement with the company until 1951. During his tenure, Heineken developed techniques to maintain consistent beer quality during large-scale production.

After World War I, the company focused more and more on exports. Three days after Prohibition ended in the United States, the first Heineken shipment landed in New York. From that day on, Heineken has remained one of the most successful imported beer brands in the United States.

Alfred Henry Heineken[edit]

Heineken brewery in Zoeterwoude, Netherlands

Henry Pierre's son, Alfred Henry "Freddy" Heineken, started working at the company in 1940, and in 1971 was appointed Chairman of the Executive Board. He was a powerful force behind Heineken's continued global expansion, and while he retired from the Executive Board in 1989, he maintained involvement with the company until his death in 2002.

During this period, Heineken tried to increase its stock price by purchasing competing breweries and closing them down. After World War II, many small breweries were bought or closed. In 1968 Heineken merged with its biggest competitor, Amstel, and in 1975 opened a new brewery in Zoeterwoude. The Amstel brewery was closed in 1980, and its production moved to Zoeterwoude and Den Bosch.


With the part acquisition of Scottish and Newcastle in 2007/2008 Heineken became the third-largest brewer based on revenues, behind the Belgian-Brazilian AB InBev and the British-South African SAB.

Since the merger between Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller in October 2016, Heineken became the second largest brewer in the world.[9]

On 12 January 2010, Heineken International successfully bought the brewery division of Mexican giant FEMSA in all-stock deal expanding its reach throughout Latin America. The deal brought brands such as Dos Equis XX, Bohemia and Sol under Heineken ownership. Thru the deal, Heineken also started selling its products in Latin America through FEMSA's distribution network. The deal made FEMSA 20% owner of Heineken N.V. essentially becoming its largest single shareholder after the Dutch families (Heineken family and Hoyer family) who owns 25.83% and public shareholders owning 54.17%.[10]

The FEMSA acquisition is expected to keep Heineken in its strong position by growing its market share in the Latin American markets. FEMSA has a massive distribution network and owns Mexico's largest convenience store chain OXXO, which has thousands of locations throughout the country.

In September 2014, it was announced that Heineken would sell its Mexican packaging business Empaque to Crown for around $1.23 billion.[11] Also during that month, Heineken revealed it was in talks to sell its Czech operations to Molson Coors.[12]

On 10 September 2015, Heineken International announced it would acquire a 50% stake in Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California as part of an effort to allow Lagunitas to expand its operations globally. As part of the deal Lagunitas will no longer be considered a craft brewer as the Heineken stake is greater than 25%.[13]

In January 2017, Heineken announced it was in negotiations to buy the Kirin Company's 12 breweries in Brazil.[8] The following month, Heineken closed the deal and bought Brasil Kirin for US$700 million.[14]

After previously acquiring 50% of Lagunitas Brewing Company, Heineken announced, on 4 May 2017, it would be purchasing the remaining 50%—making it the sole owner of Lagunitas.[15]

In June 2018, Heineken named Maggie Timoney as the CEO of Heineken USA, making her the first woman to become the CEO of a major United States beer supplier.[16]

In 2018, Heineken signed an agreement with China Resources Enterprises to purchase a 40% stake into the company.[17]

Global structure[edit]

Heineken organises the company into five territories which are then divided into regional operations.[18] The regions are: Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, The Americas, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. These territories contain 115 brewing plants in more than 65 countries,[19] brewing local brands in addition to the Heineken brand.

Executive team[edit]

The executive team of the company consists of the following people:[20]

  • Dolf van den Brink, Chairman Executive Board/CEO
  • Harold van der Broek, Member Executive Board/CFO
  • Marc Busain, President Americas
  • Jacco van der Linden, President Asia Pacific
  • Chris Van Steenbergen, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Marc Gross, Chief Supply Chain Officer
  • Jan Derck van Karnebeek, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Roland Pirmez, President Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe
  • Blanca Juti, Chief Corporate Relations Officer
  • Soren Hagh, President Europe

Brewing plants[edit]

Heineken's brewing plants have been designed and engineered in 4 main parts of the world.[21]

Africa and the Middle East[edit]

Heineken has 17 operating companies in Africa and the Middle East.[22] These include:

Asia Pacific[edit]

Heineken Brewery in Surabaya, Indonesia (at the time under colonial occupation as the so-called Dutch East Indies)

Breweries in Asia Pacific:[22]


Heineken offices in Madrid, Spain
Heineken advertisement on the face of a prominent building on O'Connell Street, Dublin, Ireland

Breweries in Europe:[22]

The Americas[edit]

Breweries in the Americas:[22]

On 20 January 2017, Heineken NV and Kirin Holdings confirmed they were in negotiations for Heineken to acquire Kirin's beer operations in Brazil. Kirin had earlier bought assets in Brazil in 2011 with the local brewer Schincariol, which makes Nova Schin and Baden Baden.[24]

Beer brands[edit]

Heineken International owns a worldwide portfolio of over 170 beer brands, mainly pale lager, though some other beer styles are produced. The two largest brands are Heineken and Amstel; though the portfolio includes Cruzcampo, Affligem, Żywiec, Starobrno, Tiger Beer, Zagorka, Red Stripe, and Birra Moretti. Heineken has added a cider blend named Jillz to their list of brands. Since mid-2007, Heineken has also taken ownership of former S&N International brands such as Strongbow and Bulmers Ciders and John Smith's and Newcastle Brown Ale.[25] Heineken owns the Czech brand Dačický, which was brewed in Kutná Hora from 1573 until Heineken took ownership of it, and closed the brewery.[26] In 2010, Heineken bought Mexican brewery FEMSA Cerveza, including brands Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Indio and Kloster.


The shares of Heineken International are traded on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam and OTCQX under the symbols: HEIA and HEINY respectively. As at 31 December 2013, the shareholding in the group's stock was as depicted in the table below:[27]

Heineken International stock ownership
Rank Name of Owner % Ownership
1 Heineken Holding N.V1 50.005
2 Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V2 – FEMSA 12.532
3 Others 37.463
Total 100.00
  1. Heineken Holding N.V is a public company listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. Its single investment is Heineken International. It is majority owned by L’Arche Green N.V an investment vehicle of the Heineken family and the Hoyer family.
  2. Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V (FEMSA) holds an additional 14.935% in Heineken Holding N.V bringing the total direct and indirect shareholding in Heineken International to 20%.



Heineken's main advertising slogan in the UK was "Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach",[28] some of which featured voice-over narration by Danish comedian/pianist Victor Borge. The British TV campaign ran for over 30 years – stopping in 2005.[29][30] From March 2011 they have been advertising using the song 'The Golden Age' by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. After the success of The Entrance, a web advert (4M views in YouTube), Heineken launched The Date in May 2011.[31]

In March 2017 in Amsterdam, Heineken opened a pop-up bakery for five days to promote the yeast used in its brewing. The bread was made by Mark Plaating and proceeds were donated to a local baking guild.[32]


Heineken sponsors several sporting events. The Heineken Cup was an annual rugby union knock-out competition involving leading club, regional and provincial teams from the Six Nations: England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and Italy. Heineken was the title sponsor from the cup's inaugural tournament in 1995–96, until the tournament ceased in 2014 and was replaced by the Champions Cup. Heineken continued its sponsorship of European Club Rugby as the principle partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup returning to title sponsorship of the Champions Cup from 2018–19. They have been credited as the Founding Partner of European Rugby.

A can of Heineken with a logo of the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final

Heineken has been an integral partner of the UEFA Champions League since 2005, with a theme of "Enjoyed together around the world."[33] The Heineken Open (tennis) is a tennis tournament on the ATP International Series played in Auckland, New Zealand. Heineken also sponsors the music events: the Heineken Open'er Festival, a contemporary music festival held in Poland; and, since 2004, the Oxegen music festival in Ireland. Heineken sponsors the Ballyheigue Summerfest in County Kerry, Ireland. In 2016, Heineken became the Official Beer of the Formula One World Championship after the Canadian Grand Prix.[34] During the knockout stage of the 2019–20 season, Heineken 0,0% became the official beer of the UEFA Europa League as the season resumed followed with the start of the 2020–21 season.[35]

Holland Heineken House[edit]

Since 1992 Heineken organises, together with NOC*NSF, the Dutch meeting place at all the Olympic Games, called the Holland Heineken House.

Heineken Experience[edit]

The Heineken Experience is a museum about Heineken Pilsener and the Heineken brewery, based in the original brewery in Amsterdam. The original building was built in 1867, and was in use as a brewery until 1988.[36] In 1991, when part of the establishment was torn down, the Heineken Reception and Information Centre (Dutch: Heineken ontvangst- en informatiecentrum) was opened in the remaining building. In 2001 the name was changed to Heineken Experience.[37]

The museum features "rides", interactive exhibits, and two bars. It also gives an insight into the company's history and brewing processes through the years. Visitors receive one small tasting glass and two full-sized glasses of Heineken beer to drink at the end of the tour, both paid for by the 21 euro entry fee.[citation needed]


Price fixing[edit]

On 18 April 2007 the European commission fined Heineken €219.3m, Grolsch €31.65m and Bavaria €22.85m for operating a price fixing cartel in the Netherlands, totalling €273.7m. InBev, (formerly Interbrew), escaped without a penalty because it provided "decisive information" about the cartel which operated between 1996 and 1999 and others in the EU market. The brewers controlled 95% of the Dutch market, with Heineken claiming a half and the three others 15% each.[38]

Neelie Kroes said she was "very disappointed" that the collusion took place at the very highest (boardroom) level. She added, Heineken, Grolsch, Bavaria and InBev tried to cover their tracks by using code names and abbreviations for secret meetings to carve up the market for beer sold to supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and cafes. The price fixing extended to cheaper own-brand labels and rebates for bars.[38]

In 2004 Heineken and Kronenbourg (then part of Scottish and Newcastle), the two dominant brewers in France, were fined €2.5m – with the penalty reduced for co-operating.[38]

This is simply unacceptable: that major beer suppliers colluded to up prices and to carve up markets among themselves[38]

— Neelie Kroes, EU Competition Commissioner

New investments in Russia[edit]

At the end of March 2022, over a month after Russia started its war in Ukraine, Heineken announced that it was leaving Russia (including with its other brands there, like Affligem, Amstel etc.), saying that ownership of the Russian subsidiary was no longer “durable or viable.” But despite this promise Heineken hired more than 240 new staff and launched no less than 61 new products on the Russian market last year, investigators from Follow the Money[39] reported, based on an overview of 2022 by Heineken Russia. The Dutch brewer’s Russian subsidiary looked back on “a turbulent year, with many new growth opportunities.” One of these opportunities being the departure of Coca-Cola and Pepsi from Russia, which Heineken "cynically" used to "enter the non-alcoholic carbonated beverage market". Heineken announced even more investments for 2023, including more modern packaging and new flavors.[40][41][42] New products launched in Russia included an Irish stout, replacing Guinness (which had been brewed and sold by Heineken, under licence), after Diageo withdrew from Russia.[43]

Fake craft beers[edit]

In Ireland, Heineken briefly marketed "Blasket Blonde" in County Kerry from March 2015 to September 2016, and Beanntraí Bru in parts of County Cork in August 2016, as locally-made craft beers, from invented breweries.[44]

Possible ties to the slave trade[edit]

On 15 February 1864, Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought De Hooiberg (the Haystack) brewery in Amsterdam.[45] It remains unclear whether the funds for the purchase of the Haystack came from his father, a cheese trader, or his mother, whose estate included proceeds from her previous husband’s family’s historical investments in West Indies slave plantations.[46][47]

In a letter to his mother 18 June 1863, Gerard discussed the potential Haystack purchase and his plans for the future. Gerard’s mother, Anna Geertruida van de Paauw, came to own shares in slave plantations in Berbice (modern day Guyana) and Suriname through her first marriage in 1829 to Pieter Jacob Schumacher van Oudorp (1804–1833)[48] who died in 1833. The Schumacher family owned several plantations in Berbice and Suriname, according to records held at the UK’s National Archive.[49] After Pieter Schumacher died, Anna was remarried to Cornelis Heineken and had four children, one of which was Gerard Heineken. Anna died in 1881.[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Executive Team". Heineken. Archived from the original on 13 August 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Heineken (2021). "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). Heineken.
  3. ^ "Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken & family". Forbes. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Estructura Corporativa | FEMSA".
  5. ^ "Press Release" (PDF). Heineken. 20 January 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Heineken N.V. 2019 Annual Report" (PDF). Heineken. Heineken. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Company Profile" (PDF). Heineken. Heineken N.V. 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2019. With recent acquisitions in Africa, India, Asia and Latin America, we are continuing to increase our presence within emerging markets, which will contribute to our ongoing growth.
  8. ^ a b Blenkinsop, Philip (20 January 2017). "Heineken in talks over Kirin's struggling Brazil business". Reuters. Retrieved 5 February 2017. Japan's Nikkei business daily reported that Heineken would pay around 100 billion yen ($872 million) for the business.
  9. ^ Blenkinsop, Philip (20 January 2017). "Heineken in talks over Kirin's struggling Brazil business". Reuters. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Ownership Structure". Heineken International. 1 March 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  11. ^ Heineken to sell Mexican can, bottle maker to Crown. Reuters, 1 September 2014
  12. ^ Heineken in talks to sell Czech operations to Molson Coors. Reuters, 9 September 2014
  13. ^ John Kell, "Heineken buys 50% stake in craft brewer Lagunitas", Fortune, 10 September 2015
  14. ^ Inagaki, Kana (13 February 2017). "Kirin ends Brazilian venture with $700m sale to Heineken". Financial Times. The Financial Times Ltd. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2017. Deal makes Dutch group the second-biggest brewer in the world's third-largest beer market.
  15. ^ Swindell, Bill (4 May 2017). "Heineken buys remaining 50 percent interest in Lagunitas Brewing Co". The Press Democrat. Sonoma Media Investments, LLC. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017. Heineken is buying Lagunitas in a deal to help propel the craft beer sector globally amid a rapidly changing industry.
  16. ^ Schultz, E.J. (5 June 2018). "Heineken Shatters U.S. Beer Industry's Glass Ceiling, Names Female CEO". Advertising Age. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Heineken tekent miljardenovereenkomst met grootste Chinese brouwer". 3 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Countries and Brands". Archived from the original on 2 January 2010.
  19. ^ "Heineken International Heineken International – Profile". Heinekeninternational.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  20. ^ "Heineken N.V. 2015 Annual Report". Heineken. Heineken. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  21. ^ "Heineken International Breweries". Archived from the original on 8 February 2007.
  22. ^ a b c d "Our Global and International Brands". Heineken International. Heineken. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  23. ^ "BBC.co.uk". BBC News. 21 May 2010. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  24. ^ van Tartwijk, Maarten (20 January 2017). "Heineken in Talks to Buy Kirin's Brazil Assets". New York: The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Heineken International Brands". heinekeninternational.com. Heineken International. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
  26. ^ Petr, Miroslav (2 June 2017). "Heineken Kutnou Horu zavřel, teď se tam výroba piva opět vrátila Zdroj". Lidové noviny. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Heineken Holding N.V. 2013 Annual Report". Heineken Holding N.V. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 27 May 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  28. ^ Heineken Logo: Design and History. FamousLogos.net. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  29. ^ Walsh, Dominic (21 October 2005). "Heineken calls last orders on television ads after 30 years". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  30. ^ Walsh, Dominic (21 October 2005). "Attempt to reach other parts with stronger beer". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  31. ^ "Heineken lance The Date, sa nouvelle campagne virale sur le web". Thebuzzbrowser.fr. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  32. ^ "Heineken Opens a Pop-Up Bakery in Amsterdam to Promote Its Yeast – Video – Creativity Online". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Heineken International Heineken announces new UEFA Champions League" (Press release). Archived from the original on 21 March 2012.
  34. ^ "Heineken announces global partnership with Formula One Management". Formula One (Press release). 9 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  35. ^ "Heineken 0.0% becomes UEFA Europa League partner". UEFA (Press release). Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  36. ^ "About Heineken Experience". heinekenexperience.com. Heineken Experience. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
  37. ^ "Nederlandse Biermusea". michel-tencate.tmfweb.nl. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007.
  38. ^ a b c d Gow, David (18 April 2007). "Heineken and Grolsch fined for price-fixing". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 August 2007.
  39. ^ Follow the Money (FTM) is a Dutch independent news website for financial-economic investigative journalism of approximately thirty journalists – some employed, some freelancers. See Follow the Money on the Dutch Wikipedia, or their website (in Dutch).]
  40. ^ Heineken still investing in Russia despite promises to stop, NL-Times, 21 february 2023.
  41. ^ 'Heineken investeert nog steeds in Rusland', NOS Nieuws, 21 February 2023.
  42. ^ Heineken breekt belofte en investeert toch in Rusland ('Heineken breaks promise and (continues to) invest in Russia'), Follow the Money, 21 February 2023.
  43. ^ Rogan, Aaron (25 February 2023). "Heineken launched stout to replace Guinness for Russian market". Business Post. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  44. ^ "C&C & Heineken Ireland under investigation". Drinks Industry Ireland.
  45. ^ "Purchase contract for the Haystack from February 15, 1864". Amsterdam archive. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  46. ^ Smit, Barbara (2014). The Heineken Story The Remarkably Refreshing Tale of the Beer that Conquered the World. Profile Books. ISBN 9781782831136. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  47. ^ a b Pagnamenta, Robin (9 July 2021). "From slave plantations to pitchside advertising". Tortoise Media. Retrieved 22 October 2021. "Cornelis and Anna went on to have four children. Their second, Gerard, born in 1841, was their first son. At this time epidemics ravaged Dutch towns, and only three of the family's children made it to adulthood. They were brought up to honour hard work and Gerard grew into an industrious young man, 'with a sense of adventure and a good heart'. When his father passed away in 1862, Gerard, then just twenty-one, could easily have spent the rest of his days living from the family fortune. Instead, he left the cheese trade to other family members and searched for a way to make his own name. In June 1863 he spotted a brewery for sale not far from the family home.
  48. ^ "Plantation Schumachers Lust - Berbice Guyana - 1817 Slave Register P1". Issuu. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  49. ^ "Plantation Schumachers Lust - Berbice Guyana - 1817 Slave Register P2". Issuu. Retrieved 22 October 2021.

External links[edit]