Heineken pulled out of Myanmar in 1996

Heineken pulled out of Myanmar in 1996

Fraser & Neave will continue to operate Heineken's Tiger brand in Myanmar for at least five years despite the Dutch brewer launching a JV in the country.

The agreement was part of discussions between the companies last year when Heineken won the right to full control of its Asian JV with F&N, a Heineken spokesperson told just-drink today (13 May). The spokesperson declined to comment on whether Heineken will take back the brand when the five-year deal runs out.

F&N has handled Tiger in Myanmar since 1996, when Heineken pulled out of the country because of political instability, the spokesperson said. Tiger is distributed and sold in Myanmar through a licensing agreement between F&N and the country's leading brewer, Myanmar Breweries. That agreement will continue despite Heineken today announcing a JV with another local drinks maker, which includes a US$60m brewery.

The spokesperson said the Tiger deal allows it to concentrate on other brands in a market where beer demand has grown rapidly over the past two years.

“(Myanmar) is one of the last few blank spots in the Asian beer market,” the Heineken representative said. “Per capita beer consumption is three litres, and compared to neighbouring countries such as Thailand (26L), China (36) and Vietnam (30), you can see the enormous potential of this beer market.”

Heineken's Myanmar partner, Alliance Brewery Company, is owned by local entrepreneur Aung Moe Kyaw. He owns spirits maker International Beverage Trading, but the Heineken alliance is his first foray into brewing.