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Heineken N.V. assigned solid investment grade credit ratings by Moody's and S&P


March 7, 2012 - London

Amsterdam, 7 March 2012 - Heineken N.V. today announced that it has been assigned solid investment grade credit ratings by the world's two leading credit agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poor's. Both long-term credit ratings, Baa1 and BBB+, respectively, have 'stable' outlooks and reflect HEINEKEN's excellent geographic spread of profits and cash flows, its leading positions in beer markets across the world and its well-balanced growth strategy.

The public credit ratings announced today, the first in the company's almost 150-year history, provide HEINEKEN with continuous access to a wide range of funding sources and will facilitate and further enhance its already successful track record in the financial markets. These ratings will be assigned to HEINEKEN's European Medium Term Note (EMTN) Programme that will be published on the website of the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), once the annual update has been completed.

René Hooft Graafland, HEINEKEN Executive Board member and CFO, commented "the award of these credit ratings underlines our commitment to transparency and diversification of our funding sources."

"The credit rating agencies have recognised the strength of Heineken® and our other brands, our geographic diversity, our leading profitable market positions and strong cash flow generation. These have all been instrumental in securing these solid investment grade ratings today. In addition, our sound financial policies and conservative approach towards managing liquidity and funding continue to support a strong capital structure in the long-term," Hooft Graafland concluded.

Press enquiries                                                 
John G. Clarke                                                        
Director External Communication                            
E-mail: john.g.clarke@heineken.com           
Tel: +31-20-5239355                                                         

Investor and analyst enquiries
George Toulantas
Director of Investor Relations
E-mail: investors@heineken.com
Tel: +31-20-5239590

Editorial information:
HEINEKEN is a proud, independent global brewer committed to surprise and excite consumers with its brands and products everywhere. The brand that bears the founder's family name - Heineken® - is available in almost every country on the globe and is the world's most valuable international premium beer brand. The Company's aim is to be a leading brewer in each of the markets in which it operates and to have the world's most valuable brand portfolio. HEINEKEN wants to win in all markets with Heineken® and with a full brand portfolio in markets of choice. The Company is present in over 70 countries and operates more than 140 breweries with volume of 214 million hectolitres of group beer sold. HEINEKEN is Europe's largest brewer and the world's third largest by volume. HEINEKEN is committed to the responsible marketing and consumption of its more than 200 international premium, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. These include Amstel, Birra Moretti, Cruzcampo, Desperados, Dos Equis, Foster's, Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, Ochota, Primus, Sagres, Sol, Star, Strongbow, Tecate, and Zywiec. Our leading joint venture brands include Cristal, Kingfisher, Tiger and Anchor. In 2011, revenue totaled €17.1 billion and EBIT (beia) was €2.7 billion. The number of people employed is around 70,000. Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares are listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on the Reuter Equities 2000 Service under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. Most recent information is available on HEINEKEN's website: www.theHEINEKENcompany.com.

Moody's Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis to corporate issuers, public finance issuers and structured finance obligations. Moody's commitment and expertise contributes to transparent and integrated financial markets, protecting the integrity of credit. For more information, visit www.moodys.com.

Standard & Poor's, a part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, is the world's foremost provider of credit ratings. With offices in 23 countries, Standard & Poor's is an important part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for more than 150 years in providing investors with information and independent benchmarks for their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com.

Disclaimer:
This press release contains forward-looking statements with regard to the financial position and results of HEINEKEN's activities. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond HEINEKEN's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as future market and economic conditions, the behaviour of other market participants, changes in consumer preferences, the ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses and achieve anticipated synergies, costs of raw materials, interest-rate and exchange-rate fluctuations, changes in tax rates, changes in law, pension costs, the actions of government regulators and weather conditions. These and other risk factors are detailed in HEINEKEN's publicly filed annual reports. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are only relevant as of the date of this press release. HEINEKEN does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of these statements. Market share estimates contained in this press release are based on outside sources, such as specialised research institutes, in combination with management estimates.

  

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This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: HEINEKEN NV via Thomson Reuters ONE

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