Pernod embarks on Myanmar joint whisky ventureBy Melita Kiely
Paris-based Pernod Ricard has acquired a majority stake in a new joint venture that will produce and distribute whisky in Myanmar.
The joint venture is in partnership with Yoma Strategic and two other minority partners, the Win Brothers – U Htun Win and U Zaw Win – who have experience in the alcohol industry, and private equity firm Delta Capital Myanmar. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The French drinks group will become the largest shareholder in the joint venture, controlling the Access Myanmar Distribution Company (AMDC), which produces and distributes the Myanmar-made High Class Whisky brand.
Pernod Ricard, which produces brands including Chivas Regal blended Scotch, Ballantine’s and Seagram’s, will become the first major international wine and spirits producer to enter Myanmar.
Closing of the deal will be subject to completion of restructuring the High Class business, as well as customary conditions, and is expected to take place in 2019.
Philippe Guettat, chairman and CEO, Pernod Ricard Asia, said: “We are delighted to start our journey in Myanmar, a very promising and dynamic market which has seen tremendous economic progress over the past years.
“High Class Whisky has already built a solid foundation in the market and we are committed to growing the brand further by leveraging our experience and capabilities.”
Pernod Ricard will gain access to more than 40,000 points of sale through the deal, plus 43 “major” wholesalers in “key demand centres”, around 230 delivery vehicles and approximately 250 staff members covering sales and marketing.
The group also said it will establish an “internationally experienced” management team in the country.
Melvyn Pun, CEO of Yoma Strategic, said it was a “great privilege” to team up with Pernod Ricard.
“We are delighted High Class Whisky will become part of the Pernod Ricard family alongside a portfolio of leading brands,” Pun said.
“Pernod Ricard brings a strong commitment to the local market, with best practices in distribution, marketing and production that will meaningfully strengthen our operations.”