Premium Distribution acquires majority stake in organic vegetable producer

By THOMAS KEAN | FRONTIER

Leading food and beverage wholesaler Premium Distribution has acquired organic salad brand Uni Vege under a new joint venture with financial advisory Trust Venture Partners.

Premium Distribution and TVP will acquire the hydroponic business from food tech startup Provide Advanced Technology, TVP said in a statement. Premium Distribution – which is affiliated with the country’s largest retailer, City Mart – holds a majority stake in the new joint venture, while TVP is a minority shareholder.

Based in the East Dagon Industrial Zone, PAT was established by Japanese entrepreneurs and has been selling its range of pre-prepared salads at more than a dozen City Mart outlets for K2,000 to K3,000.

The product has tapped into the growing market for organic produce in Myanmar, which is being driven by concerns about unregulated chemical use in the agriculture sector. The founder of PAT will continue to manage the operation, TVP said.

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For a look inside the Uni Vege factory, check out our feature from last September, Greens grown to order, on the increasing popularity of organic greens in Myanmar.

While continuing to target retail customers through City Mart outlets, Premium Distribution will also seek to build Uni Vege’s sales to businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, through its large distribution network.

TVP chief executive officer Mr Shinsuke Goto said the partnership would provide the hydroponics business with the financial resources it needed to expand.

“We believe that this is the best partnership for operating the business. It requires continuous investment for growth, which Premium Distribution and TVP are providing,” he said. 

“We as TVP can contribute not only with investment now, but also lead later fundraising if necessary. And … by using [Premium Distribution’s] nationwide network, the JV will be able to expand Uni Vege’s sales network.”

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