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Heineken International, based in The Netherlands is one of the worlds largest brewers. Heineken has production facilities in 71 countries and their products are distributed and consumed in 178 countries. [1]

Heineken UK has approximately 2,300 employees and has been based Edinburgh since the international brewer's 2008 acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle.[2] Heineken's UK business primarily involves brewing lager, beers and cider and has breweries in Manchester, Tadcaster and Edinburgh, and a cider maker in Herefordshire. Heineken UK also operates around 1,300 pubs as part of their S&N Pub Company. [3]


Heineken's history dates back to 1863 with a brewing operation founded in Amsterdam by Gerard Adriaan Heineken. [4]


Foster's Lager | Strongbow Cider | Heineken Lager | Bulmers | Kronenbourg 1664 | John Smiths | Amstel | Birra Moretti | Desperados | Deuchars IPA | Jacques | Murphy's | Newcastle Brown Ale | Sagres | Scrumpy Jack | Sol | Symonds Founders Reserve | Tiger | Woodpecker | Zywiec [5]

Corporate crimes


In April 2007 Heineken were, along with Grolsch, InBev and Bavaria, found to be part of a price fixing cartel in Holland. All companies involved were fined £150 million by the European Commission, with the exception of InBev. At the time InBev was trading as Interbrew and managed to avoid the fine because the Commission felt that the firm had cooperated with the investigation, therefore, under the Commission's leniency programme such cooperation can lead to a reduced penalty or as in this case, none at all. In 2001 InBev and Danone (then owners of Kronenbourg) had been fined for operating another cartel in Belgium. [6].

Lobbying Scottish Labour

In February 2015 Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy announced he wanted to restart the sale of alcohol inside Scottish football grounds, arguing it worked well in England. In April 2015 the Scottish Herald announced how closely linked Heineken's global public affairs manager Kieran Simpson and Murphy are. Having met at university, the pair have been close since, starting with their rise through Strathclyde University Labour Club in the 1980s and 1990s. During their student days Simpson was described as Murphy's 'right hand man' as when Simpson was chair of Scottish Labour students, Murphy was president of NUS Scotland. In 1997 when Murphy entered parliament as an MP, Simpson entered as a SpAd in Blair's government alongside John McTernan - now Murphy's chief of staff. In 1998 Simpson was Murphy's best man at his wedding.

The SNP have said Murphy should have been 'upfront about the link when he championed drink sales and should now say if he was lobbied on the subject', Labour have 'dismissed the suggestion of anything improper as "utter nonsense"' and Heineken have 'denied Simpson had any discussions about alcohol at Scottish games'.[7]


Global Business Network | | Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol Society | International Center for Alcohol Policies | Scottish and Newcastle | Drinkaware Trust | Amsterdam Group | UN Global Compact | European Alcohol and Health Forum | Institute de Recherches Scientifiques sur les Boissons | Reuters Television | MCM Research Ltd. | Global Alcohol Producers Group | World Federation of Advertisers | Aston Manor Brewery | Campden BRI | FoodDrinkEurope | Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland | British Beer and Pub Association | Scottish Beer and Pub Association | Brewers of Europe | Portman Group | Responsibility Deal Alcohol Network

PR Firms Burson-Marsteller UK Clients, PRCA Yearbook 2004 | Salt PRCA Yearbook 2004 | Mindshare | Public Affairs Council | Podesta Group


Kieran Simpson | Jeremy Beadles


  1. Heineken International Company Profile accessed 1st October 2012
  2. Scottish & Newcastle Web Site History Accessed Nov 2008
  3. Heineken Our Company accessed 1st October 2012
  4. Heineken International History accessed 1st October 2012
  5. Heineken Brands accessed 1st October 2012
  6. David Gow, The Guardian, April 18th 2007 Heineken and Grolsch Fined for Price-Fixing Last accessed December 17th 2007
  7. Tom Gordon Row over Murphy's link to drinks industry lobbyist Herald, 5 April 2015, accessed 14 April 2015.