New deal will keep Miller beer in SA

Cape Town - Miller Genuine Draft will be distributed in South Africa by Heineken from April 1 2017, following an agreement between Heineken South Africa and Miller owner Molson Coors International.

Miller was part of the SABMiller portfolio from 2002 to 2016, but was sold as part of regulation requirements that Anheuser-Busch InBev required ahead of its $103bn acquisition of SAB in 2016. Molson Coors bought the 58% stake in October 2016 for $12bn.

Miller was first launched in South Africa in 2004, two years after SAB bought the American brewer.

Heineken is one of SAB's biggest competitors and has often been at loggerheads with the brewer. In 2007, Heineken revoked a 40-year deal with SAB, which had given SAB the production, marketing, sales and distribution rights to Amstel in southern Africa.

This was part of Heineken's move to become a major player in the South African beer market. In 2010, it opened a R3.5bn brewery south of Johannesburg, where it produces Heineken and Amstel.

Heineken SA managing director Ruud van den Eijnden announced the latest agreement in a statement on Monday, saying the company is pleased to have reached this agreement with Molson Coors International.

“We believe that the Miller Genuine Draft brand perfectly complements our existing brand portfolio and will help to grow our business in South Africa.

He added: “We do not foresee any impact for our consumers and customers as we have worked closely with Molson Coors International to guarantee a smooth transition."

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