Philippine Brandy Maker Emperador to Bid for Louis Royer

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Emperador Inc., a brandy maker controlled by Philippine billionaire Andrew Tan, said it expressed interest to acquire French cognac maker Louis Royer SAS.

Manila-based Emperador will submit a preliminary offer on May 13 and this will be subject to evaluation and final decision of seller, it said in a Philippine Stock Exchange filing.

Emperador has been buying assets overseas to expand its market outside of the Philippines and increase the brands and types of alcoholic beverage it sells in its home market. Last year it acquired whiskey-maker Whyte & Mackay from Diageo Plc’s United Spirits Ltd. for 430 million pounds including the assumption of debt. The purchase helped drive a 5 percent growth in 2014 net income to 6.1 billion pesos.

“Emperador is currently debt-free and is, therefore, in a very strong financial position to further expand its business both globally and domestically,” the company said in today’s statement.

The transaction has been reported earlier by the Inquirer which said the deal could be worth “multibillion” pesos.

Emperador, a unit of Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc., is the world’s largest maker of brandy, accounting for 21 of every 100 bottles of brandy sold globally, the distiller said in March. The distiller also said then it expect sales to grow 35 percent this year following a 7 percent increase in 2014 to 32 billion pesos, after it markets Emperador brandy in countries in Europe and Africa, and it introduces eight new products in the Philippines.

Tan’s Alliance Global also has interests in property development, fastfood and gaming.

Emperador shares fell 0.2 percent to 11.40 pesos at the close of trading in Manila. Alliance Global rose 1.2 percent to 24.80 pesos, sharpest gain since April 27.

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