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MMI announces SE Asia deal

The largest alcoholic drinks distributors in the Gulf and Thailand have entered into a joint venture.

Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI) and Independent Wines & Spirits (IWS) have announced a joint venture in the rapidly expanding South East Asian market.

MMI Group CEO Andrew Day explained: “This is MMI’s first step into South East Asia and as such marks a key point in our ongoing international expansion strategy.

“Thailand and the wider region is currently enjoying solid growth in the alcoholic beverage category and continues to offer strong potential. The demographic profile supports the sustainability of this trend as the young population continues to expand and evolve beyond legal drinking age.

“We can already see the thirst for quality, image and innovation combined with increasing disposable income driving a move to premium brands and sparking the growth of the wine category.

“This joint venture gives MMI the opportunity to tap into this exciting market and utilise many of our strengths such as building premium brands, developing the wine category and retailing which we well known for in the Gulf.”

IWS is the third largest importer in Thailand after Diageo and Pernod Ricard and was established by ST Gan in 1998. He had previously worked for Seagram’s.

Gan, owner and managing director of IWS, said: “We are delighted to have secured the investment and partnership with MMI. Their experience and backing will help drive the expansion of IWS both within Thailand and beyond, accelerating our growth and securing our position at the forefront of the liquor industry in the region.

“We see significant opportunities in several surrounding markets that we will begin exploring in earnest with our new partners.”

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