Stowmarket: Muntons agrees £10.4m deal to create manufacturing plant in Thailand
06:00 22 April 2014
A Suffolk maltster is to launch a new £10.4million manufacturing plant in Thailand as it continues its growth across south-east Asia.
Muntons, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk, expects the major new 50/50 joint venture with south east Asia ingredients distribution firm Jebsen & Jessen to result in a 10% increase in liquid malt capacity at its malted ingredients arm in Stowmarket.
The malted ingredients side of the business at Muntons currently has a turnover of about £52.9million, while the other half of its sales is through malt supplied to the distilling and brewing industries.
Group managing director Alan Ridealgh said there was “tremendous synergy” between the two businesses.
The new venture will involve liquid malt extract made at Stowmarket being shipped to the plant at Chonburi, about 120km south-east of Bangkok, to be further processed, mainly into products for south-east Asia’s large and growing malted drinks market.
“Jebsen & Jessen is part of a group with 50 years’ history in south east Asia, and we at Muntons are delighted to be able to cement this strong partnership with such a respected company,” said Mr Ridealgh.
The new company, JJ-Muntons (Thailand) Ltd will employ around 30 staff, and the plant is set to be built by the end of 2015.
Jebsen & Jessen chemicals regional managing director Marc Deschamps said: “We are teaming up for success and growth in Asia. Muntons’ technology and production know-how paired with Jebsen & Jessen’s distribution capability in south east Asia is a winning formula for this joint venture of equal partnership.”
Muntons sales and marketing manager Neil Pearmain said it would also be a boost to East Anglian barley growers.
“The good news in the UK is we’ll procure 4-5,000 tonnes more grain because we’ll be manufacturing a liquid extract to be exported to Asia to be further processed,” he said.