Heineken N.V. has announced the acquisition of 49.99% of the shares in the Tunisian company, Société de Production et de Distribution des Boissons S.A.(SPDB). Heineken said "it is very proud to have Mr. Boujbel, owner of major hotel operations, as its Tunisian partner." Mr. Boujbel holds the majority of the remaining shares and will add his long-standing experience to the venture. The joint venture company will invest in the construction of a new brewery and will brew and distribute Heineken® and local brands in Tunisia. Total initial investment is €27 million, financed through both debt and equity. Heineken’s share of the equity stake corresponds to approximately €6 million. The new brewery will be built in Grombalia, 30 km from Tunis and will start with brewing Heineken® and a local mainstream brand. The initial production capacity of the brewery will be 200,000 hectoliters and it is expected to be operational early 2008. Tom de Man, Regional President Africa and the Middle East of Heineken N.V., commented: “The Tunisian beer market offers a good opportunity to further build our positive organic volume growth in the region. Tourism is expected to be a primary driver of sustainable economic growth and creates an opportunity to develop the profitable premium beer segment, in which the Heineken brand will play a leading role. Our partnership with Mr. Boujbel with his excellent local knowledge and reputation, will make a significant contribution to the success of the venture.” The Tunisian beer market is growing and is currently estimated at 1 million hectoliters. Per capita consumption is 10 litres, the second highest in the region, after Turkey. Because of import restrictions, Heineken® is currently only available through duty free shops.