Origo Partners Forms JV in Myanmar

Origo Partners and Myanmar-based Serge Pun & Associates have teamed up in a joint venture to identify investment opportunities across the natural resources and other sectors in Myanmar. The JV will be owned equally by the two firms.

Origo Partners PLC (“Origo”) is pleased to announce the formation of a new joint venture company (“the Joint Venture”) with Serge Pun & Associates (Myanmar) Limited (“SPA”), one of Myanmar’s leading conglomerates, to identify investment opportunities across the natural resources and other sectors in Myanmar. Following the start of liberalisation in Myanmar, the country has the potential to become a significant supplier of goods and raw materials to global markets, in particular China, and it is hoped that the Joint Venture will enable Origo to capture this opportunity.

The Joint Venture, SPA Origo Myanmar Holding Co Pte Ltd, will be owned 50:50 by Origo and SPA, and will benefit from the combination of Origo’s transactional and strategic expertise, as well as SPA’s extensive financial and operational experience in Myanmar. The Joint Venture will initially focus on opportunities in metals and minerals exploration, specifically in copper, gold, nickel and other mineral deposits and is undertaking country wide geological mapping. In addition, business opportunities are also being reviewed in the broader natural resources sector, particularly in agriculture with SPA’s affiliate Yoma Strategic Holdings Limited. It is anticipated that once opportunities are identified, both Origo and SPA will make investments either directly or through affiliates or funds.

Origo has been present in Myanmar for the past 14 months and, following considerable research and investigation, we are confident that the country will present attractive opportunities in the medium-term. Myanmar has undergone significant transformation since 2010 taking initial steps towards the creation of a democratic state, ranging from the release of political prisoners, lifting of censorship laws and the redrafting of the foreign investment law. The Government is working hard to drive reform across all sectors, and has received support from the international community with the suspension of US and EU sanctions and high profile visits by international leaders.

The Joint Venture’s Board will consist of Luke Leslie, Head of Mining Investments at Origo who will oversee the Joint Venture, Chris Rynning, CEO of Origo, Mr Serge Pun, Chairman of SPA and Mr Melvyn Pun CEO of SPA who will become Chairman of the Joint Venture.

The Joint Venture will be headquartered in Yangon, Myanmar within SPA’s offices allowing it access to infrastructural and logistical support. To effectively explore opportunities, Origo will redeploy a number of staff to support the existing team.

Commenting on today’s announcement Chris Rynning, CEO of Origo said:

“The Joint Venture represents an excellent opportunity to strengthen our presence in Myanmar, at a time when the country is undergoing a period of rapid transformation and opening up to foreign investment. Despite this transformation there remain many risks to investing in a country dominated by the military and with little infrastructure.

However, the strategic partnership with SPA, one of Myanmar’s most well established companies, coupled with the progress our team made on the ground in 2012 in understanding the local investment environment, positions us well to take advantage of opportunities as the country continues to reform and moves towards democracy.”