The Keepers acquires half of the Spanish brandy maker

Keepers Holdings Inc. , the imported liquor distribution company led by businessman Lucio Co, acquired a 50 percent stake in Bodegas Williams and Humbert SA, the Spanish company that makes Alfonso Brandy, for 88.75 million euros (about 5 billion pesos).

The Keepers said its 50 per cent stake in the company is a “long-term strategic investment” that will enhance the group’s competitive position, strengthen its control and secure the company’s supply line with its flagship Alfonso Brandi brand.

It will also transform the company’s business model from a purely commercial model to a manufacturing and distribution model, and will open up markets outside the Philippines. Equity investments will also result from its share of the future net income of Bodegas Williams and Humbert.

The said acquisition is based on an independent evaluation 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 & Humbert is a family owned winery in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, founded 140 years ago. The company produces a variety of wines and spirits and is the main producer of light brandy.

The company distributes its products in Spain and 50 countries around the world. Alfonso Brandy is Keepers’ largest brand and has become the largest brandy importer in the Philippines for more than two decades.

In the first half of the year, Keepers’ sales rose 27 percent to 5.5 billion pesos from $4.3 billion last year.

By volume, about three-quarters of its 2,105 cans sold during the period were of its brandy.

The company said the strong growth in sales was attributable to the strong sales performance of all categories, particularly the recovery in demand and consumption from the domestic channel, as well as the gradually increasing demand from the travel retail market resulting from the easing of societal restrictions.

Bodegas Williams and Humbert is the second Spanish company to produce a popular brandy that was acquired by a Filipino company.

In 2015, Andrew Tan’s Emperador Inc. The brandy and sherry business of Beam Suntory in Spain which included Fundador brandy and a host of other brands for €275 million, or about 13.8 billion pesos at the time of the acquisition.

The purchase includes the popular brands of Fundador Pedro Domecq, the best-selling imported brandy; Terry Centenario, the best-selling brandy in Spain; Tres Sebas, the best brandy in Equatorial Guinea; and Harveys, the UK’s leading sherry wine.

The company reported in April that its income last year reached a record 1.58 billion pesos, up 34 percent from the previous year’s 1.18 billion pounds.

The Keepers said its 2021 revenue grew 35 percent year-over-year to 11.03 billion pesos. The company said it saw 32 percent growth in the volume of cases sold with a total of more than 4.46 million cases sold in 2021.

“This was primarily driven by the continued strong performance of Alfonso, the market leading importer of brandy, which has already exceeded pre-pandemic levels despite some challenges brought by the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 lockdown seen during the year,” the company said.

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