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Whyte & Mackay sold for £430m to Filipino group

United Spirits has sold Whyte & Mackay to Philippines-based rival Emperador. Picture: Robert Perry

United Spirits has sold Whyte & Mackay to Philippines-based rival Emperador. Picture: Robert Perry

  • by GARETH MACKIE
 

United Spirits, the Indian drinks group, has sold its Whyte & Mackay whisky business to Philippines-based rival Emperador in a deal that values the distiller at £430 million.

The Glasgow-based owner of the Fettercairn, Invergordon and Jura distilleries was put up for sale last year to appease competition regulators after Johnnie Walker parent company Diageo built up a stake of almost 28 per cent in United Spirits.

In April, Diageo launched a £1.1 billion bid to take control of United Spirits as it seeks to grow its presence in the world’s largest market for whisky.

If successful, the tender offer would see Diageo – which also counts Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin among its stable of brands – owning almost 54.8 per cent of India’s largest spirits maker, which was previously controlled by tycoon Vijay Mallya.

Mallya, who remains as the firm’s chairman, said today: “I am very proud of what Whyte & Mackay had achieved under United Spirits’ ownership.

“Moreover, I am delighted to be able to pass on Whyte & Mackay into the hands of a new owner who is committed to realising the full potential of the business and whose vision for Whyte & Mackay is aligned with that of United Spirits.”

 

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