Emperador debuts on SG bourse in aggressive overseas push

July 15, 2022

Liquor giant Emperador Inc. achieved another international milestone on Thursday with the completion of its secondary listing in the major financial hub of Singapore, raising its profile among global investors amid plans to drive up sales overseas.

The world’s biggest brandy producer and owner of whisky maker Whyte and Mackay told the Philippine Stock Exchange its shares started trading on the main board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. under the stock code “EMI.”

“This secondary listing leverages Singapore’s position as a global financial hub and will ensure we are well-positioned to broaden our access to the international investment community in the future,” Emperador said.

Emperador was started in 1979 by billionaire Andrew Tan, who was born in Fujian, China before his family settled in the Philippines in the 1960s.

From humble beginnings, Tan went on to establish one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI), which now has businesses spanning property, liquor, gaming and fast food.

Overseas debut

The secondary listing, the first ever for a Philippine company, was attended by Emperador officials, including Tan, his son Kevin, who is also AGI CEO, and Singapore ambassador to the Philippines Gerard Ho.

The firm’s overseas debut also comes during a tumultuous period in the global markets. Central banks in Singapore and the Philippines announced on Thursday unscheduled interest rate hikes to cool surging inflation.

In a separate stock exchange filing, Emperador said it was not planning any fundraising activity or public offering in Singapore or elsewhere “at this time” and that it would continue to maintain its primary listing on the PSE. The company added it had mandated J.P. Morgan (SEA) Ltd. and UBS AG Singapore Branch Ltd. to “explore ways to introduce liquidity to the stock, subject to market conditions.”

Emperador has established overseas manufacturing and distribution businesses in the United Kingdom, Spain and Mexico while its products are sold in over 100 countries.

Bryan Donaghey, CEO of Whyte & Mackay, said the company’s Singapore debut “marks the start of the next chapter in our growth” given its aggressive international push in the whisky segment.

Sustained growth

“Our global business continues to deliver sustained growth and we aim to generate 50 percent of our sales from outside the Philippines by 2025,” he said.

In an introductory document issued ahead of the Singapore listing, Emperador said it would double single malt scotch whisky sales by 2025 amid the “general shift in our brand portfolio mix towards Scotch whisky.”

Emperador expects to spend P3.5 billion annually in 2023 and 2024 to expand facilities and ramp up whisky production, according to the introductory document, which was dated June 20. Spending for this year was estimated at P2.5 billion.

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