Home > International Report > Europe/Russia > Heineken buys back EUR 1 billion in shares as FEMSA’s exit begins


03 March 2023

Heineken buys back EUR 1 billion in shares as FEMSA’s exit begins

Netherlands | Heineken purchased EUR 1 billion (USD 1.1 billion) worth of its shares from FEMSA, after the Mexican Coca-Cola bottler launched a EUR 3.7 billion sale for part of its holdings in the Dutch group.

The world’s second-largest brewer said its strong balance sheet allowed it to carry out the buy back, in a statement on 17 February.

FEMSA’s overall economic interest in Heineken NV and Heineken Holding will drop to 8.13 percent from 14.76 percent. It will use the proceeds to pay off debt and focus on its core businesses.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the success of the Heineken offer. The demand may mean FEMSA could fully divest from Heineken sooner than projected,” FEMSA said.

 Bill Gates acquires stake in Heineken Holding

Dutch media reported that the philanthropist, Bill Gates, has also bought some Heineken shares: Part of the shares he acquired himself, the rest via his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Altogether he splashed out some USD 900 million for a 3.76 percent stake in Heineken Holding, the firm which owns a 50.05 percent stake in the brewer.


Apart from being the world’s biggest Coke bottler, FEMSA is also the largest convenience store retailer in Latin America. It operates about 20,000 stores and more than 3,600 pharmacies across the region. The Mexican group picked up a 20 percent stake in Heineken in 2010, in exchange for its beer interest FEMSA Cerveza (Sol, Tecate) which was then valued at USD 7.3 billion, but reduced the stake to 14.8 percent in 2017.