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Mexican retailer and Coca-Cola bottler Femsa said on Wednesday that it would divest its near-15 per cent stake in Heineken, the world’s second-largest brewer.

The company made the decision as part of a strategic review of its business, which owns Mexico’s largest convenience store chain, Oxxo.

It will sell its stake, which is currently 14.8 per cent of Heineken’s shares and worth more than €7bn, over the next 24 to 26 months. The directors it appointed to Heineken’s board will resign, the company said.

Monterrey-based Femsa, one of Mexico’s largest companies, will also seek to reduce its existing debt to reach approximately two times net debt to adjusted earnings. It will also seek strategic alternatives for another minority investment in Envoy Solutions and focus on retail, bottling and digital services.

“Once completed, these actions will materially simplify Femsa’s corporate structure,” said José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, Femsa’s executive chair. “They will also allow us to return capital to our shareholders over time.”

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