ThaiBev subsidiary International Beverage Holdings has bought majority control of Grand Royal, the largest domestic whisky brand in Myanmar.

The division, which also oversees the Balblair, Old Pulteney and anCnoc single malt Scotch whiskies, has spent just under US$750m on 75% stakes in both Myanmar Supply Chain & Service Co (MSC) and Myanmar Distillery Co (MDC). The two companies operate two sites - in Yangon and Mandalay - that cover distilling, blending and bottling operations for Grand Royal, described by Thai Bev as the "largest and number one whisky player in Myanmar".

The transactions, from four third-party vendors, includes two direct purchases of 5% with the remaining 70% stakes being indirectly acquired from Alliance Asia Investment (AAI) and Alliance Strategic Investment (ASI).

The acquisition was funded by a combination of "internally-generated cashflow and external bank borrowings", the company said. 

According to joint-research released last month by just-drinks and The IWSR, Myanmar is one of the five largest markets globally for the combined international - non-Scotch - whisk(e)y category. The Grand Royal range accounts for around 70% share of Myanmar's whisky market.

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