Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd and Pernod Ricard form joint whiskey venture


Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd and Pernod Ricard announced that they intend to form a joint venture company which will focus on the production and distribution of whisky in Myanmar. Pernod Ricard will install an internationally experienced management team and become the largest shareholder in the new company. The remaining equity will be split between Yoma Strategic, private equity firm Delta Capital Myanmar and U Htun Win and U Zaw Win, both experienced professionals in Myanmar's alcoholic beverages sector, according to a statement.

Pernod Ricard is the world's second- largest wines and spirits company, and its market entry represents the first time a major global producer of wine and spirits has established a formal presence in Myanmar. The move further consolidates Pernod Ricard's leading position in Asia, notably in the whisky category with Chivas, Ballantine's and Seagram's whiskies popular in the region. Myanmar will be the 86th country in which Pernod Ricard has established a direct affiliate.

Mr. Melvyn Pun, CEO, Yoma Strategic stated, "It is a great privilege to join forces with Pernod Ricard, one of the world's largest wines and spirits companies. We are delighted High Class Whisky will become part of the Pernod Ricard family alongside a portfolio of leading brands. Pernod Ricard brings a strong commitment to the local market, with best practices in distribution, marketing and production that will meaningfully strengthen our operations."

Mr. Philippe Guettat, Chairman & CEO, Pernod Ricard Asia commented, "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."

The agreement will see Pernod Ricard take the lead in management of the production facilities, extensive distribution network and brand portfolio of Access Myanmar Distribution Company Ltd., the current joint venture between Yoma Strategic, Win Brothers and Delta Capital Myanmar. This includes an 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.

Mr. Htun Win, Chairman, Group of Win Brothers' Businesses said, "We very much welcome the entry of Pernod Ricard to the partnership and are delighted to be working together to bring global best practices and operational excellence to the liquor industry in Myanmar."

Mr. Nick Powell, Managing Partner, Delta Capital Myanmar added, "We are delighted that our investment in AMDC has helped position it to become a leading Myanmar operator attracting global partnerships. We look forward to the continued development of the joint venture with Pernod Ricard."

The closing of the transaction is subject to completion of the restructuring of the High Class business as well as customary conditions. It is expected to take place in 2019.

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