Whyte and Mackay sold for £430 million

<p>The sale of Whyte and Mackay to Emperador has been completed.</p>

Whisky business Whyte and Mackay has been sold by United Spirits (USL) in a £430 million deal, with the company bought by Emperador.

Philippines-based Emperador's chairman Andrew Tan pointed out that whisky is the second fastest growing spirits segment in the world – behind brandy – which is why the firm was so keen to buy Whyte and Mackay.

USL had been forced to sell Whyte and Mackay for antitrust reasons after beverages giant Diageo announced it is trying to buy a controlling stake in USL. Even though that deal remains subject to regulatory approval in both India and the UK, the sale of Whyte and Mackay has gone through with USL making a hefty loss on the whisky producer.

The company had purchased the brand seven years ago, paying almost £600 million for the company, meaning it has lost around £150 million as a result of selling up to Emperador.

USL chairman Vijay Mallya said: "I am very proud of what Whyte and Mackay had achieved under USL ownership. Moreover, I am delighted to be able to pass on Whyte and Mackay into the hands of a new owner who is committed to realising the full potential of the business and whose vision of Whyte and Mackay is aligned with that of USL."

Demand growing

Mr Tan noted that demand for Scotch whisky has been showing strong growth over recent years, with the future of Whyte and Mackay appearing to be a bright one. He said: "We believe that 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."

The Emperador chairman also pointed out that his company will now gain access to the global distribution network in over 50 countries that Whyte and Mackay has been able to build up over the course of its long history.

Diageo's share price is slightly down this morning (May 12th) following the news. At 08:29 BST, stocks in the firm were 0.14 per cent lower compared to the start of the session.

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