Scots-based Whyte & Mackay whisky sold to Filipino firm for £430m

Whisky - that most Scottish of tipples
Sale: Whyte & Mackay sold to Philippines-based company for £430m.

The owner of Glasgow based whisky Whyte & Mackay has agreed to sell the brand to a Philippines-based firm for £430m.

Indian owners United Spirits Ltd are to sell the brand to Emperador Inc in a deal agreed between the two Far East firms.

Whyte & Mackay was founded on the docks of Glasgow in 1844 and the company has headquarters in St Vincent Street in the city centre.

United Spirits is being forced to sell Whyte & Mackay after drinks firm Diageo Plc made a move to buy a controlling stake in the company.

The British competition authority said Diageo's Bell's whisky competes with Whyte & Mackay's own-label and branded whisky and they fear that if Diageo took a stake in United Spirits, it may lead to "a substantial lessening" in competition.

In April, Diageo launched a bid to nearly double its stake in United Spirits to 54.8%.

United Spirits, which acquired Whyte & Mackay seven years ago for £595m, said the sale of the company was subject to regulatory approvals in India and Britain, as well as from the Reserve Bank of India.

USL chairman Vijay Mallya said: "I am very proud of what Whyte and Mackay had achieved under USL ownership. We believe that Whyte and Mackay is a prized asset with excellent growth opportunity.

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

Emperador chairman Andrew Tan said: "Whisky is the second fastest growing spirits segment in the world next to brandy. The growing demand for Scotch whisky has shown strong growth over recent years and is expected to continue this momentum going forward.

"We believe that Whyte and Mackay is a prized asset with excellent growth opportunity and its acquisition is in line with our plans to enhance our product portfolio. Whyte and Mackay has a global distribution network in over 50 countries that Emperador brandy will have access to."