Heineken sells Mexican packaging business

<p>Heineken has sold its packaging unit in Mexico to Crown Holdings.</p>

Heineken has announced a deal to sell its Mexican packaging business to US company Crown Holdings, allowing it to concentrate on brewing.

In a deal worth $1.23 billion (£740 million), the Dutch company stated that the release of Empaque would be a one-off deal which will help to make a gain of $300 million. The Mexican business will still supply Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, Heineken's subsidiary in the North American country and the agreement could be completed by the end of the year if it is approved by regulators.

Empaque has been a key driver for Heineken's success in North America generating $660 million during the past year but the Dutch company believes that its sales will allow it to focus fully on brewing. It is aiming to expand its "world class portfolio of beer brands" across the globe and reach new markets.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and chief executive officer of Heineken, said: "We are confident that Empaque will flourish under its new ownership and we look forward to our ongoing partnership. We would like to thank everyone at Empaque for the excellent performance over the years, and wish the business every success for the future."

Emerging markets have been highlighted for Heineken's growth throughout the rest of 2014. In February the company announced that sales in the likes of Africa, Asia and Latin America will help to provide a boost to a drop in consumption across Europe. The company stated that it was expecting volumes growth in these key demographics to be inline with a "gradual recovery" in the overall global economy.

Heineken, which also produce brands such as Sol and Strongbow cider, reported a two per cent decline in underlying profits to $2.2 billion over the course of 2013. The sale of Empaque will allow to it get back on track towards more profit.

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