Comment

Editor's Viewpoint - Emperador's Move for Whyte & Mackay: Surprise Surprise

Most popular

Campari and Cuervo - The next big spirits buy?

White spirits trying to ride hard seltzer craze

Spirits gift boxes will not be missed - comment

Remy Cointreau Performance Trends 2016-2020

just-drinks meets Stoli Group CEO Hugues Pietrini

MORE

It looks like 2014 is shaping up to be the year of surprises in the spirits industry. First up, in January, we saw Beam Inc head in a direction that few of us foresaw. Then, today, Whyte & Mackay has been lined up to get a new – and equally unexpected – owner.

Earlier this afternoon (9 May), Whyte & Mackay's owner, India's United Spirits, announced that it has struck a deal to offload Whyte & Mackay to The Philippines' Emperador Inc.

Granted, we did get a slight heads-up earlier this week, when Emperador confirmed that it had started talks with United Spirits over a possible buy. But, like Beam's sale to Japan's Suntory Holdings, today's news has surprised many.

With the likes of Bacardi, Brown-Forman and Campari having been linked to Whyte & Mackay, many industry observers had thought one of the 'second division' of spirits players would snap up the Scotch whisky producer. Welcome, then, to Emperador, who, like South Africa's Distell a year ago, enters a category that is renowned for being most open to newcomers.

For Whyte & Mackay, here's hoping that the arrival of yet another new parent signals the start of a long and calm period for what Emperador described today as “a prized asset with excellent growth opportunity”. As I've said before, Whyte & Mackay is long overdue a stable parentage.

United Spirits, meanwhile, may bemoan the amounts involved. Having acquired Whyte & Mackay for GBP595m (then US$1.18bn) in 2007, the Indian firm may not be best pleased with today's proposed return of GBP430m (US$729m). Not only is this an indication of how the economic landscape has changed in seven years, however, but United Spirits had little choice but to sell: With anti-competitive authorities in the UK on its back, Diageo, the Indian firm's major shareholder - and owner of the Johnnie Walker blended Scotch brand - could see little alternative but to offload the division.

Of course, the likelihood is that the funds raised will eventually wend their way in the direction of UB Group, USL's former parent that continues to battle with a mountain of debt.

To a greater or lesser degree, then, today's news looks like the perennial win-win that all companies are keen to boast of when a sale is made.

To read an in-depth look at Emperador, click here 


Related Content

What's coming up in dark spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

What's coming up in dark spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment...

Has history taught Remy Cointreau nothing? - Editor's Viewpoint

Has history taught Remy Cointreau nothing? - Editor's Viewpoint...

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2018? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - Comment

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2018? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - Comment...

Can Brown-Forman ride Jack Daniel's brand equity with Tennessee Apple? - Editor's Viewpoint

Can Brown-Forman ride Jack Daniel's brand equity with Tennessee Apple? - Editor's Viewpoint...

Oops! This article is copy protected.

Why can’t I copy the text on this page?

The ability to copy articles is specially reserved for people who are part of a group membership.

How do I become a group member?

To find out how you and your team can copy and share articles and save money as part of a group membership call Sean Clinton on
+44 (0)1527 573 736 or complete this form..



Forgot your password?