The Keepers acquires half of Spanish brandy maker

The Keepers Holdings Inc., the imported liquor distribution led by businessman Lucio Co, has acquired a 50-percent stake in Bodegas Williams and Humbert SA, the Spanish company that makes Alfonso brandy for 88.75 million euros (about P5 billion).

The Keepers said its 50-percent interest in the company is “a strategic long-term investment” that will enhance the competitive position of the group and strengthen its hold and secure the company’s supply line of its flagship brand Alfonso brandy.

“It will also transform the company’s business model from a pure trading to a manufacturing and distribution one and provide an opening into markets outside the Philippines. The equity investment will also be bottom line accretive from its share in the future net income of Bodegas Williams and Humbert,” it said.

The said acquisition is based on the independent valuation undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The company said it will pay the amount upon signing the share purchase agreement and completing other legal and closing requirements.

Bodegas Williams and Humbert is a family-owned winery in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, founded 140 years ago. The company produces a wide variety of wine and spirits and is the leading producer of light brandy.

The company distributes its products in Spain and in 50 countries worldwide. Alfonso brandy is the Keepers biggest brand and became the top imported brandy in the Philippines for more than two decades.

For the first half of the year, Keepers sales rose 27 percent to P5.5 billion from last year’s P4.3 billion.

By volume, some three quarters of its 2,105 cases sold during the period were from its brandy products.

The strong growth in sales is attributable to the robust sales performance from all categories particularly the recovering demand and consumption from the on-premise channel as well as the gradually increasing demand from the travel retail market resulting from the easing community restrictions, the company said.

Bodegas Williams and Humbert is the second Spanish company that produces a popular brandy that has been acquired by a Filipino firm.

In 2015, Andrew Tan’s Emperador Inc. bought the brandy and sherry business of Beam Suntory in Spain that included Fundador brandy and a host of other brands for 275 million euros or about P13.8 billion at the time of the acquisition.

The purchase includes the iconic brands of Fundador Pedro Domecq, the top selling premium imported brandy; Terry Centenario, Spain’s top selling brandy; Tres Cepas, Equatorial Guinea’s top brandy; and Harveys, United Kingdom’s leading sherry wine. 

The company reported in April that its income last year reached a record high of  P1.58 billion, up by 34 percent from the previous year’s P1.18 billion.

The Keepers said its revenues for 2021 grew by 35 percent year-on-year to P11.03 billion. The company said it saw a 32-percent growth in volume of cases sold totaling more than 4.46 million cases sold in 2021.

“This was driven principally by the continued robust performance of Alfonso, the leading imported brandy in the market, which has already surpassed its pre-pandemic levels despite some challenges brought by the continuing impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns experienced during the year,” the company said.


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