Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest wines and spirits company, on Friday announced that it is forming a joint venture to produce and distribute whisky in Myanmar with Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd and its partners.
The French company will hold a majority stake in the venture, while the remaining equity would be split between Yoma Strategic, Delta Capital Myanmar, and Htun Win and Zaw Win (Win Brothers), who are experienced professionals in Myanmar’s alcoholic beverages sector.
The agreement will see Pernod Ricard take the lead in the management of the production facilities, extensive distribution network and brand portfolio of Access Myanmar Distribution Company Ltd (AMDC), the current joint venture between Yoma Strategic, Win Brothers and Delta Capital Myanmar.
AMDC will provide Pernod Ricard with access to over 43 major wholesalers (40,000 points of sale), approximately 230 delivery vehicles and around 250 staff dedicated to sales and marketing as well as the High Class Whisky brand.
“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,” said Pernod Ricard Asia chairman and CEO Philippe Guettat.
The transaction is expected to be closed by 2019, after completion of the restructuring of the High Class business .
Myanmar will be the 86th country in which Pernod Ricard has established a direct affiliate. Pernod Ricard’s portfolio brands include Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Jacob’s Creek and Brancott Estate.
“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,” said Delta Capital managing partner Nick Powell.
The PE firm is currently raising a $100-million Myanmar Opportunities Fund II, having raised about half of the fund. It is hoping to tap larger deals with its latest fund.
Its $50-million Fund I has made five investments, including AMDC, an oil and gas company, an internet service provider, a local business conglomerate and a domestic bottle manufacturer.
Out of Delta Capital’s Fund II, it has made two investments, the latest being a $7-million investment in Meridian Capital-backed Easy Microfinance.