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Japanese beer giant Kirin has said it will ask a Yangon court to dismiss a petition from a military conglomerate to dissolve a joint venture agreement between the two companies, calling the request a “breach” of its contract and of Burmese law.

Myanma Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL) filed the petition to dissolve the company last week, just days after Kirin said she would take “legal action” to end the partnership.

“If the petition is approved, [MEHL] will be able to take control of the liquidation process, ”Kirin said in a statement Wednesday.

A hearing for the liquidation of Myanmar Brewery Limited, the joint venture’s main company, is scheduled for December 10 in the West Yangon District Court, MEHL attorney San Tin said in a statement. published Monday by media under military control.

MEHL’s request was filed “unfairly” and ignored the joint venture agreement with Kirin, according to the Japanese company’s statement.

“We will request the rejection of the petition due to doubts about the fairness and appropriateness of the liquidation process as well as a violation of the joint venture agreement … and a violation of Myanmar laws and regulations,” said he added.

Earlier this month, a Kirin official said the company was preparing to take “legal action” and consider all possible measures to dissolve its partnership with MEHL by the end of this year. He first announced that he was ending the partnership in the days following the February 1 military coup.

MEHL was “uncooperative in the negotiations, effectively rejecting our proposals” while Kirin had done everything possible to negotiate, the company said, adding that it will continue its efforts to end the joint venture “as soon as possible. , in a transparent, fair and appropriate manner.

Kirin previously announced his intention to continue doing business in Myanmar after the end of the joint venture.

Hla Myo, chief executive of MEHL, told Myanmar Now that the partnership would be wound up “in accordance with the laws”, but declined to comment further.

Human rights group Justice For Myanmar hailed Kirin’s exit from the partnership and urged the company to prevent the military from taking control of the company.

“Kirin must now take all available measures, including international arbitration, to prevent MEHL from taking control of Myanmar Brewery and to ensure that no payment is made to the Burmese military, which is a terrorist organization. “said Yadanar Maung, spokesperson for the organization. group.

Kirin should also ensure that Myanmar’s underground government of national unity consents to all decisions made regarding the future of Myanmar Brewery, she added.

“The assets of the Myanmar brewery, as well as all the assets of the military conglomerates, belong to the people of Myanmar, represented by the government of national unity,” she said.

MEHL owns a 49% stake in Myanmar Brewery, which produces Myanmar beer, while Kirin owns the remaining 51%. Together, the companies, which also jointly own the Mandalay Brewery, once produced around 80% of the beer sold in Myanmar.

In the aftermath of the coup, people across the country boycotted products made by military-owned companies, including Myanmar Beer, as part of efforts to cut off the junta’s sources of funding.

Myanmar Brewery’s revenue fell more than 40% – or 9.9 billion yen ($ 86.4 million) – in the third quarter of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year. Normalized operating profits, meanwhile, fell just under 50%, according to the report.

Kirin said beer sales volumes fell 20% in the Burmese market due to the spread of Covid-19 and “political upheaval”, while Myanmar Brewery’s sales volumes fell 30%.

Myanmar Now is an independent news service providing free, accurate and unbiased news to the people of Myanmar in Burmese and English.

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