The Dutch beer company Heineken has purchased majority control of the Guayaquil brewery Biela Ecuador and says it plans to increase its South American market share. Heineken said it would improve and increase production of Biela labels Brahma, Zenda, Dorada and Maltín as well as brew and bottle its own label at the local plant.
In Friday’s announcement, Heineken committed to spend $100 million at Biela’s Guayaquil facilities.
According to Heineken executives, the brewing company negotiated the purchase with the help of Ecuador’s foreign trade ministry. “We are pleased that Heineken, a giant of the international beverage industry, recognizes the great potential of both the Ecuadorian and South American markets and has chosen to invest in Biela,” said Ecuador trade minister Pablo Campana.
Campana added that a major incentive for Heinekin’s investment is the fact that beer consumption is growing rapidly in Ecuador but still ranks below other South American countries.
City and bus companies at an impasse over tram changes
Negotiators for the Cuenca transportation office and local bus companies say they still have not reached an agreement to integrate public bus service with the tram.
The city plans to establish what it calls an integrated transportation system to optimize tram use but bus companies say it will mean a reduction of income for bus owners. The plan calls for the elimination of one bus route and the conversion of five others to “feeder lines” to deliver passengers to tram stations.
According to Daniel Cárdenas, Cuenca transportation chief, the integrated system is based on a consultant’s study aimed at optimizing tram use. “The consultants base their recommendations on transportation plans used around the world where trams and buses serve the public,” he says.
International consulting firm Leon and Godoy recommends that bus feeder routes be allowed to charge a 35 cent fare, five cents more than the established fare for other routes.
Despite objections from the Cuenca Chamber of Transport, which represents bus owners, Cárdenas says that the city plan will be implemented even if it requires a subsidy to bus companies.