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Heineken’s International Expansion


Asserting his lifelong motto “I don’t sell beer, I sell warmth”, Alfred ‘Freddy’ Heineken passed away on 3 January 2002, aged 78. Known for his flamboyant lifestyle and fiery personality, Freddy was also the driving force in growing Heineken into an international brand. Heineken had the largest global presence of all international brewers, with more than 115 breweries in 65 countries. A testament to his legacy, the company’s two international brands, Heineken and Amstel, could be found in almost every corner of the world; the company’s shares were even called ‘Freddies’. On his death, Freddy Heineken left behind one of Europe’s largest family-controlled empires. But how did a family-owned company selling a Dutch brew turn into a highly profitable multinational, selling the best-known beer brand in the world?

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the process of corporate growth
  2. Identify process dependence in building a profitable multinational corporation
  3. Learn how acquisitions revitalise companies
  4. Recognise the causes and consequences of CEO celebrity
  5. Identify the determinants of company growth


Publication Date: November 2023
LBS Case Code: CS-05-047
Subjects: , , , ,
Geography: ,
Pages: 9
Format: pdf