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Whyte & Mackay To Be Acquired By Philippines’ Emperador

May 9, 2014

Philippines-based drinks group Emperador has agreed to acquire Whyte & Mackay, the Scotch whisky business of Diageo-controlled United Spirits Ltd. (USL) for $726 million, including debt. The proposed deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals in India and the U.K., has been recommended by USL’s board of directors. At press time it was unclear whether the transaction—under which Emperador will supply USL with Scotch for three years—includes Whyte & Mackay’s Dalmore and Tamnavulin distilleries, regarded as potentially its most valuable assets.

Part of the Alliance Global Group conglomerate controlled by billionaire Andrew Tan, Emperador is known for its sub-premium namesake brandy label, which has grown more than three-fold since 2010 and is now the third-largest spirit brand by volume worldwide (following Jinro soju and Ruang Khao Thai spirit) at 32 million cases, according to Impact Databank. Emperador recently posted first quarter sales up 17% to approximately $173 million. The addition of Whyte & Mackay will give the group a significant supply pipeline in the Scotch whisky business.

“The global demand for Scotch whisky has shown strong growth over recent years and is expected to continue this momentum going forward,” Tan said in a statement, adding that the move is in line with Emperador’s plans to expand its product portfolio, and will offer the company access to Whyte & Mackay’s distribution network of more than 50 countries.

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