Alliance Global Group sets Php200-B capex until 2018

By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Sept. 15 (PNA) — Andrew Tan-led conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) is earmarking over Php200 billion for capital expenditure (capex) over the next three years until 2018 to boost mainly its property, liquor and gaming businesses.

“That’s (capex) in progress… The debt market is always an option but with the amount of cash, we will fund most of it internally,” said AGI president Kingson Sian during the conglomerate’s stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

Sian said of the Php200-billion capex, Php65 billion will go to its real estate business through Megaworld Corp. this year.

“We would like to future-proof our businesses. Over the last few years, we have done that, we started off with Megaworld with over 4,300 hectares of landbank. With 4,300 hectares, that’s good enough for at least 20 years of development,” he said.

Megaworld, the country’s first and largest developer of integrated urban townships, recently announced its 19th township development in San Fernando, Pampanga for Php30 billion.

In the gaming business, Sian said Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. continuous to expand Resort World Manila, with phase 4 development underway involving the construction of a 1,000-room hotel on top of a retail mall.

“We will be a dominant player in the tourism industry. Not just gaming but the tourism industry in general owing to the number of hotel rooms that we are building. At least 5,000 hotel rooms will be built by 2020, that should put us well ahead a lot of room as a dominant player in this industry,” he added.

To boost its liquor business, Sian said the conglomerate is looking at opportunities in whisky segment, as it continuous to be a dominant player in brandy. Emperador is the world’s largest selling brandy brand.

He expects Emperador Inc.’s full acquisition of premium Scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay can provide the conglomerate “another driver of growth into the future as well as our investments in Spain.”

Through its subsidiary Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., Emperador invested 60 million euros for 50 percent of Bodega Copas S.L. considered as the most modern vineyard in Europe, in a bid to set a firm foothold in the global market.

“The introduction of Whyte and Mackay brand of whiskies in the country opens up a whole new opportunity for Emperador, as whisky is the second fastest-growing liquor segment in the world, next to brandy,” said AGI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Tan.

Through Whyte and Mackay’s international distribution channels, Tan said Emperador’s product portfolio can find its way to more than 50 countries all over the globe.

In the quick-service restaurant business, Sian said the Golden Arches Development Corp., an operator of McDonald’s franchises, is continuously focused on growing the business.

He said it expects to hit 500 stores by the first half of 2016 from the current 480 stores. (PNA)