Japan’s Kirin gives up stake in Myanmar Brewery

Jun 29, 2022, 11:01 AM | Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 8:11 am
FILE - A man walks near an advertisement of a Kirin brand beer in Tokyo on Aug. 25, 2020.  Kirin Ho...

FILE - A man walks near an advertisement of a Kirin brand beer in Tokyo on Aug. 25, 2020. Kirin Holdings will sell its shares in Myanmar Brewery to the joint venture with Myanma Economic Holdings Plc., the Japanese beverage giant said in a statement Thursday, June 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

BANGKOK (AP) — Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings plans to transfer its stake in Myanmar Brewery to the joint venture in a share buyback transaction. That will leave its local partner Myanma Economic Holdings Plc. with full control of the company.

Kirin said the share buyback agreement took into account its employees and other stakeholders and would be the fastest way to exit the venture. Human rights groups criticized the move.

Kirin said in an emailed statement that it had “no intention” to give 100% control of Myanmar Brewery to Myanma Economic Holdings, or MEHL, however the deal will leave MEHL as the only shareholder “until it finds its next joint venture partner.”

Kirin announced shortly after a military takeover in February 2021 that it intended to pull out of the brewery venture, but reported various problems in reaching an agreement with the local partner on how to withdraw. The latest plan was the best of three options that also included liquidating the brewery or selling its stake to another company, it said.

The transfer of the 51% stake held by Kirin Holdings Singapore Pte, a subsidiary of Kirin Holdings, will give Myanma Economic Holdings full control of Myanmar Brewery. Kirin said it was withdrawing from another venture, Mandalay Brewery, under a similar arrangement.

The U.S. Treasury designated Myanma Economic Holdings Public Co. Ltd. and Myanmar Economic Corporation Limited (MEC) for sanctions in March 2021, noting that the military controls significant segments of the country’s economy through those holding firms.

The companies dominate key industries including trading, natural resources, alcohol, cigarettes, and consumer goods, providing vital revenue to the military, it said.

Human rights advocates have been urging foreign investors to leave ventures in Myanmar to avoid complicity in paying taxes or revenue to entities controlled by the military-led leadership, which faces widespread public opposition to its takeover.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a private organization that tracks government killings and arrests, says more than 2,000 civilians have been killed by Myanmar’s security forces since the army takeover. The military also is battling anti-government guerrillas in the countryside.

At the same time, sales of stakes in such ventures to state enterprises like MEHL have drawn criticism.

The decision to hand control of Myanmar Brewery and Mandalay Brewery to Myanma Economic Holdings Ltd. is a “windfall for the Myanmar military and will ensure a continued stream of revenue to finance atrocity crimes,” Yadanar Maung of the group Justice for Myanmar said in a statement.

“The responsible move is to deny funds to the Myanmar military and remedy negative impacts to workers through compensation,” the statement said.

The deal requires approval by the Myanmar government. Estimates of the loss and income from the share transfer were still subject to change, Kirin said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Miss America 2018 Cara Mund poses for photographers on the 86th Floor Observation Deck of th...
Associated Press

Former Miss America Cara Mund plans to run for Congress

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Cara Mund, a former Miss America who gained attention by criticizing the organization near the end of her reign in 2018, plans to run for Congress in North Dakota as an independent. Mund announced her candidacy Saturday and said she would start gathering the 1,000 signatures she needs to get on […]
2 days ago
Jan Longone, Curator of American Culinary History, holds up a book from the exhibit titled "The Old...
Associated Press

Janice Longone, chronicler of US culinary history, dies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Janice Bluestein Longone, who is credited with collecting thousands of items chronicling the culinary history of the United States, including cookbooks, menus, advertisements and diaries, has died at age 89. Longone died Wednesday, according to Nie Family Funeral Home in Ann Arbor. The cause and location of death weren’t announced. […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Coroner: Smoke inhalation killed at least 5 of 10 in fire

NESCOPECK, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say at least half of the 10 people found dead after an early morning fire in northeastern Pennsylvania died of smoke inhalation. The Luzerne County coroner’s office said autopsies on the victims of the early Friday blaze in Nescopeck began Saturday. Examinations by Dr. Gary Ross were completed on three […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Negotiators optimistic about progress on Iran nuclear deal

VIENNA (AP) — Top negotiators in renewed talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal indicated Sunday that they are optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement to impose limits on Tehran’s uranium enrichment. “We stand 5 minutes or 5 seconds from the finish line,” Russian Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters outside Vienna’s Palais […]
2 days ago
This combination of Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022 photos shows Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left, and Hillsb...
Associated Press

Florida prosecutor vows to fight Gov. DeSantis suspension

ST. PETERSURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prosecutor vowed Sunday to fight his suspension from office by Gov. Ron DeSantis over his promise not to enforce the state’s 15-week abortion ban and support for gender transition treatments for minors. Andrew Warren, a Democrat suspended last week from his twice-elected post as state attorney in Hillsborough […]
2 days ago
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, wife, First Lady Britainy Beshear, right, hugs and talks with Nancy...
Associated Press

More storms forecasted for flood-ravaged eastern Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The National Weather Service extended a flood watch through Sunday evening for areas of eastern Kentucky ravaged by high water more than a week ago and said there’s a threat of thunderstorms in the region for much of the coming week. There’s a “persistent threat of thunderstorms” through Thursday that could […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Japan’s Kirin gives up stake in Myanmar Brewery