BANGKOK (AP) — Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings said Monday it has decided to withdraw from its joint venture in Myanmar.
The company said its board made the decision to “urgently terminate” the partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Plc after finding it would be difficult to quickly end the venture in the way Kirin wanted to.
Kirin, owner of the San Miguel, Fat Tire and Lion brands, announced more than a year ago that it was unhappy with a Feb. 1, 2021, military takeover that violated its corporate standards and human rights policy. But the company had been trying to keep its beer business in the country.
In a statement Monday, Kirin said it was discussing its withdrawal from the business with MEHL, which is a military-affiliated company.
Earlier, the company sought commercial arbitration in a dispute with MEHL over its plan to unwind the joint venture. MEHL then petitioned for liquidation of the venture, which Kirin said violated the joint venture agreement and was an “unjustified motion.”
Kirin said earlier negotiations with MEHL had been delayed by political instability, worsening safety concerns and the pandemic and there had been no meaningful progress in their negotiations.
A response from the Myanmar company was not immediately available.
The Myanmar operations produce beers under the Myanmar, Kirin Ichiban, Andaman Gold and Black Shield brand names. Myanmar Brewery was founded in 1995.
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