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Heineken to acquire South African, Namibian brewers

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South Africa

Dutch brewing giant Heineken will buy a majority stake in brewers in South Africa and Namibia, companies said on Monday, creating a booze behemoth in a region currently dominated by rival Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Heineken plans to acquire South Africa's Distell and Namibia Breweries in a combined deal valued at around $4.6 billion (four billion euro).

"We are very excited to bring together three strong businesses to create a regional beverage champion, perfectly positioned to capture significant growth opportunities in Southern Africa," said Heineken's CEO Dolf van den Brink in a statement.

Distell CEO Richard Rushton sees the deal as having "the potential to leverage the strength of Heineken's global footprint with our leading brands to create a formidable, diverse beverage company for Africa".

Amsterdam-based Heineken is the world's number two brewer behind Belgian-Brazilian giant AB InBev.

In 2016, AB InBev took over South African Breweries as part of a blockbuster SABMiller buyout, and enjoys an estimated 80 percent of the beer market by volume in South Africa.

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