Whyte & Mackay Sold to Emperador Inc – MacDonald Seeks Assurances on Grangemouth Bottling Plant
Monday, 12 May 2014 09:31
The news this week that Diageo-owned United Spirits Ltd (USL) will sell its Whyte & Mackay spirit business to the Philippines-based Emperador Inc for £430 million has prompted Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald to seek assurances from the new owners that the future of the Grangemouth bottling plant in South Lumley Street is secure.
Diageo was forced to sell Whyte & Mackay following concerns expressed by the competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading.
The regulator said Diageo, along with Whyte & Mackay, could manipulate whisky prices in the UK as both of them have a significant market share in the country. USL bought Whyte & Mackay for £595 million in 2007.
Whyte & Mackay’s previous owner, South African Vivian Imerman and Japan’s Suntory, were two of the other bidders for the whisky producer.
Following the announcement of the successful sale, Angus MacDonald MSP has written to the new owners seeking an assurance that the future of Whyte & Mackay’s bottling plant in Grangemouth is secure.
Speaking in the Port this week Angus said:
“At a local level the sale of Whyte & Mackay to Emperador Inc is welcome news. There has been a degree of uncertainty since United Spirits, following financial pressures, put Whyte & Mackay up for sale, and were subsequently taken over by Diageo, with further uncertainty following the ruling by the Office of Fair Trading that Diageo had to divest itself of the Whyte & Mackay section of the multi-national company.
“The news of the sale will come as a relief to the 150 workers at Whyte & Mackay’s Grangemouth bottling plant who have been unsure what the future holds for them.
“However I will be contacting the CEO of Emperador Inc to seek assurances that the future of the bottling plant is secure.”
“The global demand for Scotch whisky has seen strong growth over recent years and this momentum is expected to continue, which hopefully bodes well for the future, not just for Whyte & Mackay, but the whole industry.”