On 28 January 2014, a subsidiary of AB InBev, AmBev, acquired a 50% equity interest in Cerveceria Bucanero S.A. (CBSA), a Cuban company in the business of producing and selling beer. The other 50% equity interest is owned by the Cuban government.
Publicly traded AB InBev was formed through successive mergers of three international brewing groups: Interbrew from Belgium, AmBev from Brazil, and Anheuser-Busch from the United States.
AmBev was the biggest brewery in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world prior to its acquisition by AB InBev.
According to reports filed by AB InBev with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CBSA is operated as a joint venture in which Ambev appoints the general manager. CBSA’s main brands are Bucanero and Cristal. In 2014, CBSA sold 1.3 million hectoliters, representing about 0.3% of AmBev’s global volume of 459 million hectoliters for the year.
Although CBSA’s production is primarily sold in Cuba, a small portion of its production is exported to and sold by certain distributors in other countries outside Cuba (but not the United States). CBSA also imports and sells in Cuba a quantity of beer products, produced by certain of AmBev’s non-U.S. subsidiaries, that in total was less than 5,000 hectoliters in 2014.
CBSA is a major producer of Cuban beer. Its corporate office is located in Havana, and its brewery is in Holguín, on the east side of the island. Holguin is known for having the highest water quality in the country. The CBSA plant was built at the end 1980’s using German technology.
CBSA’s current production capacity is more than 1.5 million hectoliters per year – representing more than 450 millions glasses of beer annually.
CBSA has been recognized internationally winning awards including Europe’s Monde-Selection. In particular, Bucanero MAX, a Premium beer, and Cristal, “La preferida de Cuba”, both won a gold medal for outstanding quality at the 2007 event. Monde Selection is an annual non-competitive award open to food and drink products.