Sunday Lifestyle

Andrew Tan, Ramon Ang, Bernard Arnault retool brandy, gin and perfume factories to produce hand sanitizers

WILL SOON FLOURISH - Wilson Lee Flores - The Philippine Star
Andrew Tan, Ramon Ang, Bernard Arnault retool brandy, gin and perfume factories to produce hand sanitizers
Andrew Tan

I am reminded of the defiantly resourceful saying “Turn your lemons into lemonade,” when I first read the news that Emperador brandy and Megaworld founder Andrew Tan of Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI), Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Corp. (SMC) boss Ramon S. Ang, and the world’s luxury goods conglomerate LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, would mass-produce alcohol-based sanitizers to help the global fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

 “Brandy King” Andrew Tan and his eldest son AGI CEO Kevin Andrew Tan announced on March 18 that AGI will donate one million liters of 70 percent ethyl alcohol (disinfecting alcohol) to the front-liners — doctors, nurses, medical staff — and even to police and soldiers.

To produce this, AGI will denature 850,000 liters of 96 percent ethyl alcohol, converting it into usable sanitizing and disinfectant alcohol. Will this become another new business venture for Andrew Tan and compete with existing brands Green Cross, Casino, Family and thus also contribute to better public health and hygiene all over the Philippines?

Today, he is indeed the “Alcohol King” of the Philippines.  

* * *

Ramon Ang

 “Gin King” and “Beer King” SMC president and COO Ramon S. Ang also announced on March 16 that he will use one of Ginebra San Miguel’s facilities to mass-produce disinfectant alcohol for donation to LGUs and public hospitals to help the Philippines prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said the company will produce 70 percent ethyl alcohol, which can be used as sanitizer and other medical purposes.

San Miguel is looking to donate the alcohol in bulk, in 20-liter containers and 1,000-liter tanks, he said. Ang also said SMC is also donating to LGUs its own brand of disinfectant powder used in hog farms and other facilities.

* * *

Bernard Arnault

What is the use of perfumes and makeup if people are dying all over Europe now? The French conglomerate LVMH Group, which owns Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Christian Dior, announced on March 15 that it will convert three of its perfume and cosmetic factories to mass-produce alcohol-based hand sanitizers to be distributed for free to French hospitals.

Twelve tons of “hydro-alcoholic gel” or hand sanitizers were to be produced this week as the first batch. The gel supplies will be delivered to French health authorities, in particular the 39 public hospitals in Paris.

In December 2019, Arnault once became briefly the richest man in the world. Also last year, after a fire gutted the historic Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris, his family pledged €200 million to help repair it.

Liquor distilleries are uniquely prepared and equipped to mass-produce effective germ-fighting hand sanitizers with a base of 60 percent-plus alcohol. Kate Krader of Bloomberg News even shared that, in the west, some liquor distilleries are now churning out alcohol-based sanitizers with the most exotic-sounding scents, like coco rum, lime margarita, naval gin, piña colada and margarita!

Perhaps Andrew Tan, Ramon Ang and even Lucio C. Tan of Tanduay Rhum can do the same in the future to export to the world market.




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