July 14, 2022

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Emperador lists in Singapore, targets expansion

By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor

SINGAPORE — Emperador, Inc. on Thursday started trading on the Singapore stock exchange after holding its secondary listing in the global financial hub to mark the Filipino spirits company’s move to boost its international presence.

“This moment is truly a milestone for Emperador,” Andrew L. Tan, the company’s chairman, told reporters after the listing, adding that the move “reinforced the globalization” of the Philippine-listed firm.

Emperador, whose primary listing is maintained on the Philippine Stock Exchange, is trading under the stock code EMI in both bourses.

Bryan Donaghey, head of Emperador’s whisky business and chief executive officer of Whyte and Mackay Group Ltd., a company acquired in 2014, said the listing sets the “the next chapter” in the Tan-led group’s growth.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, he said the proportion of sales contributed by the international business “is probably 35% and 40%,” with the Philippine business accounting for the biggest share.

“We’d see that move up to more like 50% as we grew the international business,” he said, adding that the source of foreign sales is “widespread.” He said the target is expected to be reached by 2025.

At present, about 30% of the company’s branded whisky business is in the Asia-Pacific region, around 15% in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and about 30% in the United Kingdom.

“So, the international [part] of it is quietly spread across the continents that’s why we can grow because we’re represented in those markets already. So, it’s about getting bigger in the markets we’re already in for the whisky side,” Mr. Donaghey said.

“And brandy is also a good opportunity to get into more markets,” he added.

He said the brandy business grew from 17 to 65 countries, and that growth is expected to continue. Emperador, a manufacturer, bottler and distributor of alcoholic drinks, has presence in more than 100 countries.

Emperador’s portfolio includes best-selling Spanish brandies Fundador, Terry Centenario, Presidente and Emperador. Its single malt whisky brands include The Dalmore, Jura, Fettercairn, and Tamnavulin.

In the statement distributed during the listing, it said its fast-growing international business is led by the Scotch whisky segment after the integration of Whyte & Mackay.

Mr. Donaghey said the secondary listing leverages the Singapore stock market’s stature and “will ensure we are well-positioned to broaden our access to the international investment community in the future.”

“We’re already in China, we’re already in the US, it’s about growing the business that we’ve got there,” he said. “Our Asia-Pacific business has increased over tenfold over the last five or six years. A lot of that is in China.”

Kevin Andrew L. Tan, one of the company’s directors, described the listing as “putting a very strong Filipino company in the global map.”

“Emperador is effectively a Filipino company. We are an Asian company with global aspirations,” the younger Mr. Tan told reporters, adding that the listing “cements” the group’s international ambition.

“We hope that it also opens the doors for any other companies to also do the same thing. The Singapore stock exchange is truly a global exchange. It’s a very diversified exchange,” he said.

Pol de Win, the Singapore exchange’s senior managing director, head of global sales and origination, said in a briefing after the listing that Emperador’s move to build a global portfolio steps up its growth strategy in both mature and emerging markets.

He said the listing in Singapore “provides an excellent springboard for Emperador to further raise its profile and capture new growth opportunities.”

On Thursday, shares in the company closed higher by 3.9% or P0.68 to close at P18.10 apiece at the Philippine bourse.