Property and investment firm Yoma Strategic Holdings is forming a joint venture with French drinks giant Pernod Ricard and other partners to produce and distribute whisky in Myanmar.
Pernod Ricard will bring in an "internationally experienced management team" and become the largest shareholder in the new firm, it was announced yesterday.
The remaining equity will be split among Yoma Strategic, private equity firm Delta Capital Myanmar and Win Brothers, a distillery group with production facilities in Yangon and Mandalay.
"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 companies said in a joint statement.
Pernod Ricard will take the lead in managing the production facilities, distribution network and the brand portfolio of Access Myanmar Distribution Company, the current joint venture between Yoma Strategic, Win Brothers and Delta Capital Myanmar.
This includes access to more than 40,000 points of sale, 43 wholesalers, 230 delivery vehicles and 250 employees dedicated to sales and marketing as well as the High Class Whisky brand.
Yoma Strategic chief executive Melvyn Pun said: "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."
Completion of the deal is expected next year, subject to the restructuring of the High Class business and customary conditions.
Myanmar-focused Yoma Strategic has a diversified portfolio of businesses in real estate, consumer and financial services, among others.
Its stock closed down 0.5 cent to 44.5 cents yesterday.