Pernod Ricard will follow ThaiBevs International Beverage Holdings into Myanmar

Pernod Ricard will follow ThaiBev's International Beverage Holdings into Myanmar

Pernod Ricard has signalled its intention to begin operations in Myanmar, with the group thought to be the first "major global producer of wine and spirits" to enter the country.

Singapore-listed conglomerate Yoma Strategic Holdings announced late last week that Pernod will be the majority partner in a whisky-focused joint venture in Myanmar. The stake purchase, the financial and size details of which were not disclosed, will see Pernod team up with Yoma and its present partners, private equity group Delta Capital Myanmar and local spirits producer Win Brothers.

The existing joint venture, Access Myanmar Distribution Co, owns the High Class whisky brand, which is produced locally at Win Brothers facilities in Yangon and Mandalay. Under the Asia Beverages Co moniker, AMDC also owns the Captain's Rum and Leader whisky brands. It also produces the Red Square RTD range under licence from the UK's Halewood Wines & Spirits.

Pernod will "take the lead in management of the production facilities, extensive distribution network and brand portfolio of AMDC".

"This includes access to more than 40,000 points-of-sale, 43 major wholesalers in key demand centres, approximately 230 delivery vehicles and around 250 staff dedicated to sales and marketing, as well as the High Class Whisky brand," Yoma said.

According to the statement, Pernod's "market entry represents the first time a major global producer of wine and spirits has established a formal presence in Myanmar".

Pernod Ricard Asia CEO Philippe Guettat said: "We are delighted to start our journey in Myanmar, a very promising and dynamic market that 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."

The new entity is expected to be up and running in 2019.

While Pernod may be the first major spirits player to enter Myanmar, it will face competition from ThaiBev's International Beverage Holdings in the country. The unit spent almost US$750m last year on 75% stakes in both Myanmar Supply Chain & Service Co and Myanmar Distillery Co.

The purchases saw IBH take majority control of Grand Royal, the country's biggest-selling domestic whisky brand.

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Myanmar - ISA Country Report

Myanmar - ISA Country Report

Each ISA Country Report contains detailed economic data and forecasts, analysis of trade and investment opportunities and coverage of the key political issues facing the country. Moreover, each ISA more