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In cider, knowledge: Heineken buys Stassen

The Dutch brewer hopes to capitalise on the Belgian research company's expertise.

The Dutch brewer Heineken has acquired the research and development facilities and capabilities of the Belgian cider-maker Stassen. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stassen operates several facilities, including those for making cider and the de-alcoholisation of cider, beer and wine. The company was closely involved in the development of several of Heineken’s recently introduced ciders, such as Strongbow Gold, Jacques and Bulmers No 17.

Alexis Nasard, chief commercial officer of Heineken, said:

We are excited about Stassen Ciders and its employees becoming part of the Heineken company. Stassen’s strong R&D and innovation capabilities will serve us well in a time when there is a lot of new product activity in the category. Consumers around the world are increasingly intrigued by cider and its unique, refreshing taste, 100 per cent natural ingredients and rich heritage and we are well positioned to capitalise on this opportunity.

Philippe Stassen, managing director of Stassen, said:

By integrating Stassen Ciders into the Heineken company and becoming its cider R&D centre, we are strengthening our leading position in the category's premium market segment. This is a great opportunity for our employees and for our site in Aubel, which will further enhance its international scope. We are looking forward to the next phase of our growth story.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions.