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McClatchy-Tribune  07/16/2014 12:01 AM ET
Andrew Tan's Emperador expands Spanish vineyard [The Manila Times, Philippines :: ]

July 16--THE subsidiary of Andrew Tan's liquor firm Emperador Inc. has secured a deal that will expand its vineyard in Spain, a transaction that is seen further boosting the company's brandy production and markets worldwide.

A disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange showed on Tuesday that Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Emperador, has signed an agreement to acquire an additional 230 hectares of vineyard land in Toledo.

The property, according to Emperador, is adjacent to the Vinedos del Rio Tajo operated by Bodegas Las Copas, a 50 percent joint venture company between Emperador and González Byass.

"The company intends to expand Vinedos del Rio Tajo, a vineyard beside River Tajo, the longest river in Iberian Peninsula," the company further told the local bourse.

Vinedos del Rio Tajo is the largest vineyard in Spain that specializes in wine grapes for brandy distillation.

Jorge Domecq, managing director of Emperador Spain, said in a statement that by having the vineyard operated with modern equipment, the company hopes to achieve a yield capacity of 30,000 kilos per hectare against an average yield of around 6,500 kilos by the vineyard industry in Spain.

"This means that in every hectare of this vineyard land, we will be able to harvest five times more wine grapes. This will very well support the raw material requirements for our brandy production," he said.

Domecq further said that with this total integration in Emperador's brandy production, the liquor firm is in the best position to continue making its brand the number one brandy in the world.

"That gives us the capacity to expand our global market. With Emperador Spain continuously looking out to acquire more vineyard land in Spain, we expect that our total vineyard property will reach close to 2,000 hectares by 2016," he added.

The acquisition came less than a week after businessman Andrew Tan, the owner of Emperador, sold P7-billion worth of shares in the conglomerate he owns, a transaction that was seen as a funding strategy for the major purchase deal conducted by Emperador.

Specifically, Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) said that Tan sold 278 million of his shares in AGI via an accelerated overnight equity placement at a price of P28.30 per share.

The transaction, as explained by AGI, was conducted "in response to a reverse enquiry from one of the largest asset managers globally." UBS AG acted as Sole Placement Agent for the transaction.

Lexter Azurin, research analyst at Unicapital Securities Inc., told The Manila Times that the transaction may be a funding strategy for the group to provide its liquor arm, Emperador Inc., capital for its recent major acquisition.

In May, Emperador struck a P31.72billion deal to buy out Scotch distiller Whyte and Mackay, the fifth largest maker of Scotch whisky in the world.

 

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