Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Bottles of Samai rum sit on a counter at the company’s Phnom Penh distillery in 2014.
Bottles of Samai rum sit on a counter at the company’s Phnom Penh distillery in 2014. Hong Menea

Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Samai Distillery, Cambodia’s first and only rum producer, is close to securing upwards of $1 million from foreign investors to expand its business operations and production capacity, a move that could see its products sold internationally, the company said.

Daniel Pacheco, co-founder and director of Samai, said he is in late-stage discussions with a group of angel investors, and the company could soon secure a commitment for $550,000 to $700,000 in funding. He said that beyond the financial support, the investors would offer invaluable business advice for the start-up that first began producing rum in 2014.

“We are also aiming to raise another $600,000 from other individual investors to [expand] our business,” he added.

He said the first priority was to increase the production capacity of the distillery, which would require purchasing land and constructing a larger facility. As part of the company’s expansion plan, Samai rum would be marketed and exported abroad.

Pacheco said he intends to restructure the operation into a holding company with two subsidiaries, keeping the Samai brand name while operating an independent distillery. “This will allow for us to distil products for other brands, and some companies have already reached out to us expressing interest in our distillery operations,” he explained.

Steve Landman, managing partner of Lotus Fund, and one of the potential angel investors that would provide funding, said that he was optimistic that the rum’s Cambodian origin would add to its appeal in more developed consumer markets.

“The Samai brand is associated not only with helping farmers increase their income – as they source all of their ingredients locally – but also the fact that it comes from Cambodia makes it really special, especially as it is not a place that is known for producing rum, like in the Caribbean,” he said.

Landman, a member of the Mekong Angel Investor Network (MAIN), noted that the Cambodian rum distillery has raised a lot of interest from other investors he spoke to who are seeking a return on their capital commitments.

“Everyone has been really excited in the brand, even people who did not meet [Samai] directly,” he said.

“Premium spirits are increasing in demand and becoming really popular and I’m hoping to get the deal done by this year.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Migrant workers stranded in Malaysia plead to return

    Some Cambodian migrant workers stuck in Malaysia after flights were cancelled in April said they received some support from the Cambodian embassy, but they are looking forward to returning home because work is scarce. Ham Saly from Kampong Cham told The Post on Thursday that

  • PM marks Int’l Children Day with call for improvements in welfare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has issued a six-point message on the occasion of the 71st anniversary of International Children’s Day on June 1, Cambodian Children’s Day, also on June 1 and the 19th anniversary of the World Day Against Child Labour on June 12. In a

  • Wing teams up with the Agricultural and Rural Development Bank to assist Smes, agri-businesses

    Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank and the Agricultural and Rural Development Bank of Cambodia (ARDB) on Wednesday partnered to provide all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture businesses in the Kingdom with easy financial access. With this partnership, ARDB customers will be able to

  • Drivers told to renew licence

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol called on citizens operating vehicles with expired driving licenses and vehicle inspection certificates to renew them or they would be fined. Chanthol said some driver’s licenses have expired for eight years. He also said drivers without

  • Call for end to tabacco adverts aimed at youth

    The NGO Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) on Thursday urged the government to take stricter measures to implement the Law on Tobacco Control, claiming that some tobacco companies continue to flout the law by targeting underage consumers. CMH said in a Wednesday press release that

  • Private school parents petition for lower fees

    Parents and guardians of students at the private CIA FIRST International School plan to submit a petition asking Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene in their ongoing tuition dispute. The parents, who have been protesting school costs for weeks, now want the price of online