Royal Swinkels Family Brewers, the Dutch brewery that produces Bavaria, Palm and Rodenbach, has acquired a 40 % minority share in the Georgian brewery Argo.
Argo and Swinkels are no strangers to each other: in 2017 both parties already signed a license agreement for Hollandia, Swinkels' main export brand. Now the Dutch family business also takes a 40 % stake in the Georgian brewer. CEO Peer Swinkels sees this as an important part of his growth strategy, as Georgia is a beer market with growth potential due to the rise of tourism and is located on the border of Europe and Asia, which opens possibilities for the export.
The minority interest illustrates the brewery group's dual growth strategy: on the one hand, it tries to export various Dutch and Belgian beers, and on the other, the brewer focuses on local production in a number of important growth markets. Swinkels Family Brewers already holds 15 % of the Georgian beer market through various licenses.
Argo is one of the most important brewers in Georgia. The brewery was founded in 1994 as Castel Brewery and has since expanded a portfolio of four beers: Argo itself, Herzog, Hollandia (through the Swinkels license) and König Pilsener. The shareholders also include Coca-Cola.