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Philippine distiller Emperador buys Scottish whisky manufacturer

Emperador, the Philippines' largest liquor producer, said on Monday it had agreed to buy Scottish whisky manufacturer Whyte and Mackay as part of an expansion beyond its traditional base of brandy.

MANILA: Emperador, the Philippines' largest liquor producer, said Monday it had agreed to buy Scottish whisky manufacturer Whyte and Mackay as part of an expansion beyond its traditional base of brandy.

The company said in a disclosure to the Manila stock exchange that its UK subsidiary would buy Whyte and Mackay from Indian owner United Spirits for 430 million pounds (US$726 million), pending approval from United Spirits' shareholders, and from regulators.

The Glasgow-based firm is the fifth-largest producer of Scotch with a history stretching back 160 years, and counts five distilleries and a bottling plant in Scotland.

Andrew Tan, chairman of Emperador, said in the statement that whisky was the second fastest growing spirits segment in the world next to brandy, Emperador's signature product.

"With this acquisition, Emperador will be exposed to two of the fastest growing spirits segments in the world," he said.

"Whyte and Mackay is a prized asset with excellent growth opportunity and its acquisition is in line with our plans to enhance our product portfolio."

He said Emperador Brandy would now have access to Whyte and Mackay's global distribution network in more than 50 countries.

Emperador is already one of the world's biggest brandy producers, but most of its output is sold in its home market.

In February, it acquired half of Spanish brandy producer Bodega Las Copas for 60 million euros ($82 million) and has also been acquiring Spanish vineyards.

Emperador is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alliance Global Group, a Philippine conglomerate with interests in liquor, real estate, resorts and gaming, and fast food restaurants.

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