Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company (CMBC) has announced that Carlsberg Group will acquire the UK rights for French beer brand Kronenbourg from Heineken UK.
This includes all rights to production and distribution, which will be conducted in the UK by CMBC. The transition of the rights to Carlsberg is expected to be effective from 1 June this year.
The Kronenbourg 1664 brand is owned globally by Carlsberg. However, Heineken has held the UK licence for the lager since 2008, following the acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle by the Dutch brewer and Carlsberg.
The brewing and packing of Kronenbourg 1664 will continue to be conducted by Heineken under contract, before moving to CMBC in 2024.
Paul Davies, CEO of CMBC, said: “We’re delighted to announce our agreement to take responsibility for Kronenbourg 1664, reinforcing CMBC’s position as one of the most exciting brewers in the UK. Supporting brands and innovating in the premium category is a key pillar of our strategy, and adding Kronenbourg 1664 to our enviable portfolio is an incredible opportunity to achieve this.”
He added: “Kronenbourg 1664 is an excellent beer with a distinctive provenance that is growing in both volume and value with strong brand awareness amongst consumers. We look forward to sharing our exciting plans to relaunch the brand with our partners in the on and off trade and cementing Kronenbourg 1664 as a leader in the category.”
Boudewijn Haarsma, managing director of Heineken UK, said: “We’ve been a strong custodian of Kronenbourg in the UK over the last 14 years, maintaining product quality and investing in its marketing and distribution as part of our portfolio…With a great brand range to offer our customers, now is the right time for Kronenbourg 1664 to enter its next chapter and we’re pleased to have reached this agreement with Carlsberg.”
Andrew Khan, vice president of global premium & beyond beer at Carlsberg, said that the acquisition marks an opportunity to “energise the brand, drive innovation and deliver growth within CMBC’s beer portfolio”.
CMBC and Heineken UK will work together to ensure a smooth transition for customers ahead of CMBC taking over UK distribution at the beginning of June.
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