Beer merger to be scrutinised

Plans for the Dutch beer giant Heineken to take over the Lucerne-based Eichhof brewery are to be closely examined by the Federal Competition Commission.

This content was published on May 30, 2008 - 10:34

Preliminary investigations indicate that the merger could lead to the market being dominated by two groups: Heineken-Eichhof and the biggest Swiss brewery, Carlsberg/Feldschlösschen.

The commission announced on Friday that its investigation would take at most four months.

Heineken's plans to buy the drinks business of Eichhof Holding were announced in April. The transaction was supposed to be completed in the third quarter of 2008. The merger would give Heineken 23 per cent of the Swiss drinks market, second to Carlsberg with 40 per cent.

Eichhof, the last of the bigger independent breweries, had eight per cent of the market.

Eichhof Holding also intends to sell off its Datacolor colour management division and its real estate.

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