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THERE is no magic formula for success, but Philippine billionaire Andrew L. Tan is whipping up a special blend for Emperador, Inc. as his liquor firm targets to dominate the whisky segment of the market.


Mr. Tan is giving the Filipino people a taste of his personal concoction when Emperador brings to the market the iconic local brand Andy Player Whisky after a 25-year hiatus.

“I blended this whisky myself and I have been working on this for 20 years,” Mr. Tan said during Alliance Global Group, Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting in Quezon City yesterday.

“The opportunity actually arose after we have acquired Whyte and Mackay [Group Limited]. That gave us a very good source of whisky ingredients,” the billionaire said.

Andy Player Whisky was pulled out of the market due to lack of raw materials, AGI President Kingson U. Sian told reporters after the meeting. The blended whisky will be sold at a price of P150 per bottle when it is launched next month.

The Philippine company, the dominant player in the brandy segment of the local market, marked its foray into whisky when it entered into a deal with a subsidiary of United Spirits Limited for the £430 million-takeover of Whyte & Mackay last year.

“It’s basically tapping a new market. Emperador will be a first-mover in that segment and this will mean additional revenue stream for the company, but it will depend on how it will turn out,” Lexter L. Azurin, head of research at Unicapital Securities, Inc., said by phone.

Emperador Brandy comprises seven out of 10 liquor bottles sold in Manila, the company had said.

After lording it over the brandy segment, Emperador hopes to replicate its success in the whisky segment as the Philippine firm pursues its goal of building a global liquor empire.

“There’s always a limit to how much you can grow that business that’s why we’re looking at other opportunities. We’re already into whisky.

We are planting the seeds or future-proofing the business moving forward,” Mr. Sian said.

Mr. Tan has set bold targets for Emperador. In 2013, the company embarked on a five-year plan to double its earnings and corner a third of the world market.

After the acquisition of Whyte & Mackay, Emperador made an offer to purchase French cognac maker Louis Royer SAS in its latest move to beef up its international business.

The local firm has bought over 1,000 hectares (ha) of vineyards, distilleries and bodegas in Spain with its vineyard property expected to reach 2,000 ha by next year.

Emperador is part of AGI — the holding firm for Mr. Tan’s real estate, consumer goods, quick service restaurants, hotel and gaming businesses.

Shares in the liquor firm added five centavos or 0.63% to close at P8 apiece yesterday.

SOURCE: Business World Online

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