Pernod Ricard has formed a strategic partnership with China’s second largest baijiu producer to capitalise on shared resources.
Wuliangye International and Pernod Ricard officially signed a strategic cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Yibin, Sichuan on November 14.
The signing of the MOU signifies their intention to jointly strengthen infrastructure and develop regional sales channel systems starting from Southeast Asia, with potential expansion to other markets in Asia outside of China and beyond.
Philippe Guettat, Chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia, said: “We are excited to form a new strategic partnership with a respected Baiju leader, Wuliangye, and embark a new adventure together.
“Imported spirits and baiju have both enjoyed a long and glorious history in their respective markets. Joining our forces and expertise today marks a historic milestone in the industry. Leveraging Pernod Ricard’s established network and experience, I am sure this partnership will bring unprecedented innovative forces to the market.”
Li Shuguang, Party Committee Secretary and Chairman of Wuliangye Group added: “The Asia market beyond China will be a very important stepping stone for Wuliangye as it treads into the international market.
“Wuliangye attaches paramount importance to its partnership with Pernod Ricard and is confident that by working together we will expand across the Asia market.”
Pernod Ricard noted that by fully leveraging this “landmark collaboration with one of China’s largest baijiu producers, Pernod Ricard aims to enhance a win-win relationship that will enable both companies to accelerate further development”.
Wuliangye is the second largest baijiu producer in China, behind Moutai.
Diageo also has aspirations in the space – it has a large stake in Chinese baijiu producer Sichuan Shuijingfang Company, which produces super-premium Shui Jing Fang.
In the first half of Diageo’s 2019 fiscal year, organic sales for the group’s Chinese white spirits portfolio, led by Shui Jing Fang, increased by 22%.