The origin of CCU’s centuries-old tradition dates back to 1850, when Joaquín Plagemann founded in Valparaiso the first brewery in Chile. In 1902, Compañía Cervecerías Unidas S.A. was formed from the joint venture between the Brewery Plagemann, the Brewery Limache and Brewery and Ice Factory Gubler and Cousino, giving rise to the company which later became a leader in the beer business in Chile.
Currently, CCU is a public company whose shares are traded on the stock markets of Chile and the New York Stock Exchange. Its principal shareholders are Quiñenco S.A., a holding of the Luksic family, and Heineken Chile Ltda, who, through Inversiones y Rentas S.A., have 60% ownership of the Company. The remaining shares are divided between ADR’s (14.7%) and other minority shareholders (25.3%).
CCU is a multi-category beverage company with operations in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. CCU is one of the largest players in each one of the beverage categories in which it participates in Chile, including beer, soft drinks, mineral and bottled water, nectar, wine and pisco, among others. CCU is the second-largest brewer in Argentina and also participates in the cider, spirits and wine industries. In Uruguay and Paraguay, the Company is present in the beer, mineral and bottled water, soft drinks and nectar categories. In Bolivia, CCU participates in the beer, water, soft drinks and malt beverage categories. In Colombia, the Company participates in the beer industry and in Peru, in the pisco industry.
The Company’s principal licensing, distribution and / or joint venture agreements include Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., PepsiCo Inc., Seven-up International, Schweppes Holdings Limited, Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Pernod Ricard Chile S.A., Promarca S.A. (Watt’s) and Coors Brewing Company.
CCU has over 8,186 employees and produces over 24.8 million hectoliters of beverages, serving over 286,000 customers in Chile and Argentina.