Birth: 26 March 1937
Source of wealth: Myanmar Golden Star Pepsi-Cola Product Myanmar
Founded: 1989, 1991
Address: No 23-24, Bahosi Housing, Bogyoke Aung San Rd, Lanmadaw Tsp, YANGON
Business: Beverages, Hotel and Tourism, Real Estate, Production, Banking, Media
Thein Htun is the founder and president of Myanmar Golden Star. His business network widened in the late 1990s and he is now working on business expansion to attract foreign partnership with a vision of building a sustainable company. The company has firmly established itself in hotel and tourism, distribution, real estate, media and banking and beverage industries.
“Myanmar is one of the last frontiers in the world’s economy. It is very valuable but perspective is important.”
Thein Htun was born in Wakema, Ayeyawaddy Region. He has two sons, Thant Zin Tun and Oo Tun, and one daughter, Mi Mi Tun. Thant Zin Tun is the President of Mandalay Novotel Hotel and the LP Holding Group. Oo Tun, is working as the Managing Director of MGS Beverages and Mi Mi Tun is an executive director of MGS Beverages. Thein Htun also has close relations with Lieutenant General Tun Kyi, Commerce Minister of Myanmar’s former military government.
Thein Htun set up Myanmar Golden Star in 1989 and a joint-venture Pepsi Cola Product Myanmar (60% by MGS, 40% by Pepsi International) in 1991, importing Pepsi Cola drinks to Myanmar – for which he became known as ‘Pepsi Thein Tun’. A few years later, in 2011, Myanmar was placed on sanction lists by several other countries for the actions by their military government towards Myanmar’s democracy struggles. Rather reluctantly, that during the glory years, 2012 through 2014, Thein Htun’s annual profits hovered around 4 million USD. This is the value which, if Myanmar has ever made Forbes’ annual list, he may have been listed in the billionaire ranks. When Pepsi pulled out from Myanmar market, Thein Htun faced difficulties but also got the opportunity to buy the cola production technology and began to produce Star Cola, Quench, Orange, Crusher Soda and Quench Soda.
In 1995, Thein Htun established Kawei Golden Star as a joint venture with Singapore-based Kawei International. In 1997, Thein Htun formed a business partnership with military owned Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and produced Sun condensed milk and Crown condensed milk. Then, he provided Sun condensed milk to the soldiers and distributed Crown condensed milk in the local market. Later, he set up Dagon Brewery with MGS, MEC and Brewinvest and produced SKOL beer, SKOL Super beer and Dagon beer, which became famous at that time.
By 1998 Thein Htun was recording steady success and began business expansion into other sectors. Together with MEC, he won luxury residential projects, reasonable cost apartment projects, shopping malls, wedding halls and office tower projects in Mayangon Township. Pioneer Venture, operated by Thein Htun, manufactures and distributes office furniture, home furniture, wooden doors, wooden windows, wooden floor and parquet floor in both local and overseas markets.
Golden Star also began to import raw materials for Ministry of Industry No.1 that produced Mandalay Rum, Mandalay Gin and Old Brandy. Later, Thein Htun set up MGS Rice Traders to distribute agricultural products. When New Zealand Dairy Board advised MGS Rice Trader to start other food products, they increased milk powder, butter, margarine and vegetable ghee in their production list.
Thein Htun established MGS Agricultural in 1999, renting a total of 37,529 acres of lands; 6,000 in Bago Region, 26,500 in Magway Region and 5,029 in Ayeyarwaddy Region to expand his agriculture business. Plantation of oil crops such as groundnut, sesame and sunflower are being undertaken for domestic consumption and beans and pulse for domestic consumption and export in Magway Division. Paddy plantations are for domestic consumption and rice is exported in Ayeyawaddy division. Pineapples are also planted in Mindon and Bago divisions for the purpose of exporting pineapple concentrate.
In 2013 Thein Htun’s Myanmar Gold Star formed a partnership with Carlsberg to set up Myanmar Carlsberg, building a beer factory in Bago and distributing Tuborg, Carlsberg and YOMA beer, which by 2015 became a successful business. In January 2018, Myanmar Carlsberg hosted a beer factory field trip for over 150 chemistry major students.
Thein Htun is also investing in the real estate sector which is developing rapidly in Myanmar. Myanmar Golden Star is now working on a 50-room hotel in Inlay, Shan State; and plan to invest US$18 million in a 200-room apartment project in Yangon. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2019.
Myanmar Golden Star is listed among Myanmar’s top tax payers every year. Thein Htun gives scholarships to students who need study-support and founded Tun Foundation Bank in Yangon to empower and inspire people to continuous learning. In 1995, Tun Foundation Bank was established, providing financial support for Myanmar’s education, health and social development sectors.