May 13, 2013 / 7:56 AM / in 5 years

Heineken forms Myanmar joint venture to build brewery

BRUSSELS, May 13 (Reuters) - Dutch brewer Heineken said on Monday it had signed a joint venture agreement to brew and sell its beers in Myanmar, part of a deeper push into faster-growing Asian markets.

The world’s third-largest beer maker said in a statement its venture was with privately owned Alliance Brewery Co Ltd (ABC), majority-owned by local spirits entrepreneur Aung Moe Kyaw.

The venture, APB Alliance Brewery Co Ltd, will invest $60 million to build a brewery near Yangon, the largest city and main commercial centre. It should be operational by the end of 2014.

Heineken, whose subsidiary Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd (APB) will own a 57 percent stake of the venture, said its announcement followed the European Union’s decision last month to lift sanctions, except on arms, against Myanmar.

Heineken last year took full control of APB to boost its presence in rapidly expanding Asian markets, such as Vietnam. APB had withdrawn from Myanmar in 1996.

Heineken follows a number of other western businesses into Myanmar, including Carlsberg, Ford, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, as the country emerges from more than a decade of isolation. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Rex Merrifield and David Holmes)

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