Even as Diageo is looking to increase its shareholding in United Spirits Ltd (USPL) with a recently concluded open offer, Vijay Mallya's stake in the country's largest liquor company is under threat. The UB Group chairman, who also heads the USL board, has been steadily losing shares as lenders have been invoking pledges. Now, his total stake in USL has dipped below 5%, going by the company's regulatory filings with the stock exchanges on Monday.
Last week, a lender invoked 4.82 lakh pledged shares of United Breweries Holdings (UBHL) and 1.7 million pledged shares of Kingfisher Finvest, according to regulatory filings. They did not specify the lender's name. With the latest invocation of pledged shares, UBHL is now left with 2.98% stake and Kingfisher Finvest 1.14%.
The development came alongside the open offer by Diageo, which concluded on Thursday. The British firm, which currently holds 28.78% in USL, had offered to acquire an additional 26% from public shareholders of USL at R3,030 a share. Diageo is expected to announce the result of the offer next week.
The USL scrip closed at R2,592.30, down 3.47%, on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday.