NETHERLANDS – Fomento Económico Mexicano(FEMSA), a Mexican multinational beverage and retail company, has announced it will divest its full shareholding in HEINEKEN and Heineken Holding N.V. to focus on core business verticals that have the highest strategic relevance, growth potential, and financial and competitive strength.

As a result of the review by the Board of Directors of FEMSA, the company will undertake a series of actions and divestitures conducive to achieving this strategic focus within the next 24 to 36 months.

Including divestiture of Heineken investment, subject to market conditions, FEMSA will also explore strategic alternatives for Envoy Solutions and seek to reduce its existing debt, maintaining a solid investment grade credit rating.

Therein, FEMSA’s representatives will resign from Heineken’s Supervisory Board and Heineken Holding N.V.’s Board of Directors with immediate effect.

Consistent with this vision, FEMSA deliberates to pursue retail, with excellent long-term growth opportunities, composed of Proximity, Health, and Fuel.

It will also focus on Coca-Cola FEMSA, leveraging its leading competitive position and excellent execution, combined with significant financial strength and strategic opportunities.

The operator of the largest independent Coca-Cola bottling group in the world and the largest convenience store chain in Mexico will also anchor its attention to the Digital arena, building a powerful value-added financial ecosystem, while playing a key role in leveraging the connection among FEMSA’s core business units.

José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, FEMSA’s Executive Chairman of the Board, commented: “After thoroughly analyzing our business platforms, including their strategic opportunities, long-range plans, and the best strategy to continue to drive growth and allocate capital in the future, FEMSA’s Board of Directors has approved a series of decisive actions.”

“Once completed, these actions will materially simplify FEMSA’s corporate structure, providing increased strategic clarity and focus. They will also allow us to return capital to our shareholders over time.”

Acknowledging to receive the decision, Heineken has said it will carefully consider the implications and evaluate all options, which may include the option to acquire shares from FEMSA in any future sale, subject to market and other conditions.

For his part, Jean-Marc Huët, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said: “We are grateful for the commitment and support of the FEMSA representatives on the Supervisory Board over the last thirteen years.”

“We would like to thank the current and former FEMSA representatives José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, Javier Astaburuaga Sanjines, and Francisco Josue Camacho Beltrán for their valuable contributions, guidance, and collaboration.”

At the same time, the Dutch beer giant has aimed to sell its Russian business in the first half of 2023 after promising to exit the market following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Dolf van den Brink, the chief executive, said the brewer was talking to potential buyers of its Russian arm, which employs 1,800 people, but signaled the transaction would take longer than previously indicated.

Heineken withdrew its flagship brand from Russia in the first half of 2022 but still sells other brands in the country.

“We keep operating [the business] so that we can continue to pay our employees because otherwise, you run the risk of being nationalized,” van den Brink said.

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