Philippines' Emperador brandy firm in $132 mn Spain venture
Emperador Distillers, the biggest liquor company in the Philippines, is to spend 5.8 billion pesos ($132 million) on more vineyards and brandy stocks in Spain to build a global brand, it said Thursday.
The firm will acquire 509 hectares (1,258 acres) of vineyards in Toledo and a large stock of "well-matured brandy" ageing in casks, said its executive director Kendrick Tan.
"The idea is to make Emperador a global brand. This is the first step in achieving that goal," he told AFP.
Earlier this year, its unit Emperador International announced that it acquired a Spanish brandy company, Bodega San Bruno, including its vineyards and brandy stocks in Jerez.
Tan said Emperador Distillers is the biggest brandy producer in the world by volume, but still sells almost all of its products in the Philippines.
He said the company sold more than 31 million cases of brandy last year and expects to sell the same amount this year.
Acquiring its own vineyards would help Emperador minimise costs and assure a supply of raw materials, while also making it less dependent on other grape farmers, he added.
"Most of the raw materials are from there (Spain) so we turn ourselves into a self-sustaining business," he said.
Emperador hopes to expand its market starting with other Asian countries, Tan added.
He said companies in the Philippines, a former Spanish colony which is now enjoying an economic recovery, should take the opportunity to invest in Spain which is suffering economic problems. "The Philippines is very prosperous at the moment. What better time for the Philippines to become a global player?"
Emperador Distillers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliance Global Group Inc., a Philippine conglomerate with interests in liquor, real estate, resorts and gaming, and fast food restaurants.
The company's flagship liquor product is the mass-market Emperador Brandy.
Earlier this year, it introduced a premium product, Emperador Deluxe, which is entirely produced and bottled in Spain.
© 2013 AFP