TPG divests 50% stake in Myanmar Distillery Company to Thai Beverage

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U.S. headquartered private equity major TPG on Friday said that it had exited Myanmar’s largest spirits maker by selling its 50 per cent stake to Thai Beverage Public Company Limited. No financial terms were disclosed. Thai Beverage is among Asia’s leading spirits groups.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based firm had paid between $100 million and $200 million to international investors to buy half of Yangon-based Myanmar Distillery Co (MDC) that is known for brands such as Grand Royal Whisky and Hero Whisky, in November-December 2015.

Founded in 1995, MDC is the largest spirits company in the country, and produces whiskey, rum, gin and wine coolers, which are sold through 1,300 wholesalers and over 20,000 retailers. It currently employs more than 2,500 staff, and has manufacturing facilities in Yangon and Mandalay.

MDC was the private equity firm’s second investment in Myanmar. TPG had earlier invested in Apollo Towers, and since then, the latter had received additional support, including a long-term financing facility from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Its other investments in Southeast Asia include 8990, BFI Finance, PropertyGuru, and Vietnam Australia International School.

“When we invested in MDC, we were excited to be partnering with a market leader that had an experienced management team and an extensive, nationwide network. TPG was pleased to have had an opportunity to support them and introduce new initiatives to improve operations and earnings in areas such as lean manufacturing, e-procurement and branding. These initiatives resulted in considerable growth in the business over a short period of time,” Ganen Sarvananthan, Partner at TPG, said in a statement.

This is the second major exit in Myanmar’s spirits market after Singapore’s Fraser and Neave sold its majority 55 per cent stake in Myanmar Brewery Limited for $560 million in 2015. Its stake was bought by Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co.

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