Miller Lite will expand into Nicaragua this year as part of a multiyear agreement signed this week between Molson Coors Beverage Co. and Nicaragua’s largest brewer, Companía Cervecera de Nicaragua S.A.
Under the licensing deal, Managua-based CCN will brew, market and distribute the Original Light Beer throughout Nicaragua as a premium international brand starting in the fourth quarter of 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal marks the first significant step by Molson Coors into Nicaragua as it expands its presence in Latin America. The company’s brands are available throughout much of the region, with a focus in Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile.
“We’re excited about expanding further into Nicaragua and continuing to grow throughout the region,” says Chris Wensel, vice president of Latin America for Molson Coors. “With this deal, we’re able to close a white space in our footprint, and we’re able to team up with the strongest beer partner possible.”
CCN, which was founded in 1926, makes brands such as Victoria Frost, Mytos and its flagships, Toña and Toña Light. It is by far the Central American country’s largest brewer. Molson Coors had an existing relationship with the company to contract brew Miller Lite for export to Honduras.
Also key to the deal, Wensel says: Miller Lite plays a strategic role in CCN’s portfolio and helps the brewer develop its premium international segment.
While the deal is small relative to the Molson Coors global business, “it’s an important step for us here,” Wensel says. “There’s just so much opportunity for us in Latin America. The runway is long.”