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Heineken, Dos Equis brew a $7.6 billion deal

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Heineken announced plans Monday to buy the beer operations of Mexico's Fomento Económico Mexicano (Femsa) for about $7.6 billion, as the Dutch brewer moves to expand its operations in the Western Hemisphere.

The deal will give Heineken, which brews Amstel and other beers, control of Femsa's key export brands, including Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol.

The companies said the all-stock deal includes about $2.1 billion in debt and pension obligations.

"The acquisition strengthens considerably our position within the global beer market," Jean-François van Boxmeer, chairman and chief executive of Heineken, said in a statement. "[It] expands our portfolio of leading international brands and enhances our leading position in the U.S. import market."

Under the terms of the deal, Femsa will gain a 20% economic interest in the Heineken Group, and will have the right to appoint two non-executive representatives to Heineken's board.

"Heineken presented us with the most compelling opportunity to transform our brewing assets," José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, chairman of the board and CEO of FEMSA, said in a statement.

"In the context of the reconfiguration of the global brewing landscape, scale and geographic diversification are more important than ever," Carbajal said. "And this transaction responds to that imperative."

The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, is expected to close in the second quarter. Heineken (HINKY) expects to see cost savings of more than $200 million by 2013 as a result of the merger.  To top of page

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