United Spirits sells 53% stake to Diageo

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The two companies said in September that they were in talks about a possible deal. (Reuters) The two companies said in September that they were in talks about a possible deal. (Reuters)
SummaryUK-based Diageo will buy stake in Vijay-Mallya led United Spirits for Rs 11,166.5 cr.

In one of the biggest stake sales by an Indian firm to a foreign company, UK-based Diageo Plc will buy a 53.4 per cent stake in Vijay-Mallya led United Spirits for Rs 11,166.5 crore in a multi-structured deal.

The development, which comes at a time when he is trying to overcome financial problems in his grounded Kingfisher Airlines, Mallya said this is not a "sell out" to save the carrier and no funds from this deal will be used for reviving the airlines.

Following the completion of the stake acquisition, which took six years to materialise, India will become the second largest market for Diageo after the US.

"This is not a sell-out, it's my appreciation of needs... I have recognised the consolidation needs (of Diageo) and whole-heartedly appreciate it... I have not sold any family jewel but embellished it," Mallya told reporters in a conference call after announcing the deal.

He stressed that the money received from Diageo will not be used to bail out the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines, which will address issues separately and independently.

"I do whatever is best for my businesses. I have done what is best for my beer and I have done what is best for my spirit business. I will do the best for the airline, but separately... I will address the Kingfisher problems fairly and squarely. These are mutually exclusive," Mallya said.

Earlier in a joint statement, the UK-based firm said it has entered into an agreement with United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) and United Spirits Ltd (USL) to acquire 27.4 per cent stake in USL, the top liquor company in India at Rs 1,440 per share aggregating Rs 5,725.4 crore.

Shares of the company today closed at Rs 1,359.70 on the BSE, up 1.22 per cent over the previous close.

Further, Diageo will also acquire 19.3 per cent stake in USL at a price of Rs 1,440 per share from the UBHL group, the USL Benefit Trust, Palmer Investment Group Ltd and UB Sports Management (two subsidiaries of USL) and SWEW Benefit Company (a company established for the benefit of certain USL employees).

The company will seek approval from USL shareholders for a preferential allotment to Diageo at a price of Rs 1,440 per share of new shares amounting to 10 per cent of the post-issue enlarged share capital of USL.

It further said it will launch a tender offer to acquire a further 26 per cent stake in USL

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