South Korea's Lotte Chilsung has invested US$81m to set up a JV in Myanmar with local company MGS Beverage, according to a report.

The Korean Times said yesterday (29 January) that the beverage unit of Lotte Group received approval for the firm, called Lotte-MGS Beverage, on 15 January. Lotte owns 70% of the JV, which will reportedly also sell PepsiCo products in the country.

Lotte Chilsung's overseas unit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A PepsiCo spokesperson confirmed to just-drinks that the JV will distribute PepsiCo beverages in the market.

Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin was quoted as saying: “Myanmar has great potential and will be a strategic location in South East Asia. I hope Lotte Chilsung will lead the Myanmar beverage market using its 64 years of beverage business know-how.”

Last month, Myanmar media reported that PepsiCo had agreed on a partnership in Myanmar with Lotte Chilsung. At the time, PepsiCo spokesperson said the company “refused to comment on specultation”.

PepsiCo already has a presence in Myanmar after it announced last year it will open a bottling plant.

This article was updated on 31 January to include PepsiCo's confirmation.