Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Emperador signs deal to buy UK liquor firm

Emperador Inc., the liquor unit of conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc., has signed an agreement with United Spirits (Great Britain) Ltd. to acquire 100 percent of Whyte & Mackay Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries for £430 million (US$728 million). Emperador said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the acquisition of Whyte & Mackay was part of a long-term strategy to focus on the Philippines and expand its global footprint.

Emperador said it expected the acquisition of Whyte & Mackay to immediately increase its earnings. “Whisky is the second fastest growing spirits segment in the world next to brandy. With this acquisition, Emperador will be exposed to two of the fastest growing spirits segments in the world. The global demand for Scotch whisky has shown strong growth over recent years and is expected to continue this momentum going forward,” Emperador chairman Andrew Tan said. “We are continuously looking to enhance shareholder value through earnings accretive investments. We believe that Whyte & Mackay is a prized asset with excellent growth opportunity and its acquisition is in line with our plans to enhance our product portfolio. Whyte & Mackay has a global distribution network in over 50 countries that Emperador Brandy will have access to,” Tan added.

Whyte & Mackay is the fifth largest maker of Scotch whisky in the world with a history of more than 160 years and ownership of some of the most iconic Scotch brands in the industry. It also holds substantial aged whisky inventories. The group has production capacity of 50 million liters of alcohol a year with five distilleries and one bottling plant in Scotland. Whyte & Mackay produces a wide range of products sold in more than 50 countries, mainly in Europe and North America. It also has strong presence in the global travel retail space. Emperador, which was advised by Macquarie Capital on the transaction, said last week it planned to double its net income to P11.6 billion by 2016-2017 from last year’s P5.8 billion on aggressive expansion and acquisition plans.

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