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Diageo strategy to release non-core assets brings sale of Red Stripe lager stake to Heineken

Published:  07 October, 2015

Diageo has handed over control of Red Stripe lager to Heineken by selling its stake in the Jamaican brand owner Desnoes & Geddes.

Heineken is adding Diageo's 57.9% shareholding in D&G to its own existing stake to bring its interest up to 73.3%.

Diageo's international distribution rights for the Red Stripe brand will transfer to Heineken as part of the deal on January 1, 2016.

The sale is part of a package which also sees Heineken buy Diageo out of the two company's joint venture in Malaysia, and Diageo take a 20% stake in Guinness Ghana Breweries from Heineken.

The package nets Diageo £515 million.

Diageo is rumoured to be in talks to sell off its wine interests to Australia's Treasury Wine Estates as it seeks to divest itself of non-core assets.

Chief executive Ivan Menezes said: "The transaction we have announced today continues our proactive approach to our portfolio, enhancing our focus on the core to achieve Diageo's performance ambition."

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Heineken's chief executive officer, said: "Having greater commercial control in the important regions of south east Asia and the Caribbean will allow us to maximise the strong potential of our brands in these growth markets."