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LISTED liquor company Emperador Inc. owned by tycoon Andrew L. Tan has acquired Fundador Pedro Domecq, Spain’s largest and oldest brandy, in an “all-cash” deal worth 275 million euros, or P13.8 billion in reports by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The November 30 2015 purchase solidifies Emperador’s position as the world’s largest brandy company and makes the Tan-led firm one of the largest foreign investors in Jerez, the brandy capital of Spain.

Under the deal closed on Saturday in Madrid, Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., a company owned by Emperador Inc., will acquire the brandy and sherry business of Beam Suntory in Jerez.

Aside from Fundador Pedro Domecq, the acquisition, remarked to ‘carry a unique heritage and market leadership position in their respective categories’ includes Terry Centenario, Spain’s top-selling brandy; Tres Cepas, Equatorial Guinea’s leading brandy; and Harvey’s, the United Kingdom’s top sherry wine.

Fundador, or “founder” in Spanish, was the first brand to be marketed by Pedro Domecq Loustau in 1874. Made from Airen and Palomino grapes, Fundador was the first brand marketed as a Brandy de Jerez and is aged in a sherry-soaked Solera.

Today, it is Spain’s largest export brandy and is sold in more than 30 countries. Fundador’s biggest export market is the Philippines, where it has been the clear leader for more than a century, conquering Filipino hearts in various ways.

Other acquired assets are Bodegas Fundador, Spain’s largest and oldest brandy cellar established in 1730, as well as production facilities, aging cellars, vineyards and state-of-the art blending and bottling facilities in Jerez.

Emperador will likewise take over a brandy distillery in Tomelloso, Spain, which has a sufficient aging inventory of brandy and sherry that Emperador officials believe will drive the company’s growth.

Nomura was tapped as the sole financial advisor while Allen & Overy was hired as the legal adviser for the transaction.

The deal was sealed with the ceremonial signing of barrels at Bodegas Fundador in Jerez.

Tan wrote “A New Era Begins” while Emperador president CEO Winston Co wrote “Sa Totoong Tagumpay” (for real success), which has been the slogan of Emperador for years.

The ceremony was witnessed by Fundador executives and employees late Monday morning in Spain. Tan and Co signed the messages and the historic date of Nov. 30, 2015.

Tan said in a statement that the investment was “really close to my heart.”

“I haven’t really slept for weeks thinking about this. And now, I am very happy that I made this important decision of buying this largest and oldest brandy in Spain that has also been a very iconic brand to Filipinos for more than a century,” he added.

Fundador carries significant sentimental value to Tan because 42 years ago, on the evening after he graduated magna cum laude with a Business Administration degree from the University of the East, he first encountered the brand.

His late father, Tan Ha, had invited his friends and relatives to celebrate the younger Tan’s graduation. They opened and eventually finished three bottles of Fundador. Thus, for Tan, Fundador never fails to bring back memories of a special moment shared with his father.

The investment cements the Philippines’ position as one of the largest investors in Spain, said Carlos Salinas, Philippine ambassador to Spain.

The purchase will have an immediate positive impact on Emperador’s bottom line.

(Reports by PDI)

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