Dutch brewing company Heineken has initiated talks to purchase a majority stake in South African wine and spirits company Distell Group.

Distell owns a wide range of alcoholic beverage brands such as Savanna, Hunter’s Dry, Nederburg, Durbanville Hills and Amarula.

Heineken made this announcement in response to a statement released by Distell to its shareholders.

In its statement, Distell said: “Shareholders are advised that Heineken NV has approached Distell regarding the potential acquisition of the majority of Distell’s business.

“The parties have entered into discussions which, if successfully concluded, may have an effect on the price of the company’s securities.

“Bearing in mind that there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in their Distell securities until a further announcement is made.”

Heineken said that discussions are currently underway and there is no guarantee that the talks would lead to a potential transaction.

However, Heineken has not disclosed, which businesses it is planning to acquire.

Citing people familiar with the deal, Bloomberg reported said that the Dutch brewer worked with advisers and approached Distell recently.

Heineken’s efforts to acquire Distell, which has a market value of $2.26bn (ZAR31.8bn), could be one of the major deals for Heineken.

In February, Heineken acquired a 100% stake in south London-based brewer Brixton Brewery for an undisclosed amount.

In 2017, Heineken invested in Brixton Brewery to acquire a minority stake in the company.

The investment enabled the London-based brewer to expand a second brewery site located close to the company’s first brewing facility.