Roy Seeks Strategic Partner To Beef Up Green Label Brand

Mumbai, November 28: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
After the acquisition of Gilbeys Green Label for Rs 60 crore from UDV India Ltd, the management team led by Deepak Roy is planning to bring in a strategic partner to consolidate its position in the market.

Speaking to FE, Triumph Distillers & Vintners Pvt Ltd (Triumph) managing director Deepak Roy said, As part of our future strategy, we have planned entry into strategic alliance to build and upgrade the brand. We are open to a tie-up with both multinational and domestic companies. We are basically looking for a partner who can pump in money into our company that will help to promote and build our brands. However, Mr Roy declined to divulge further details of the alliance he is looking for. Mr Roy, who had been instrumental behind the popularity of the Green Label brand, said that we will be able to use Gilbeys for a period of only five years.

UDV India Ltd, the Indian arm of Diageo, the worlds leading premium drinks business, has concluded the sale of its domestic whisky business to the management team led by Mr Deepak Roy.

The major brand involved is Gilbeys Green Label whisky. The sale and purchase agreements, between UDV and the newly formed company, Triumph, owned by Mr Deepak Roy, were signed in Mumbai on November 27, 2002. Mr Roy has been supported in his bid by a consortium of banks, financial institutions and high net worth individuals.

The divestment was conducted through an auction process conducted by DSP Merrill Lynch, exclusive advisors to Guinness UDV. Ambit Corporate Finance Pte Ltd, Mumbai, acted as the exclusive advisor to Triumph. Mr Deepak Roy was until recently the president - South Asia, Russia & Baltics, Guiness UDV from October 2000. He was also the managing director of UDV India Ltd since August 1994.

On behalf of Diageo Plc, Mr Amar Raj Singh, managing director, Guinness UDV, India & South Asia said, The decision to sell our domestic Whisky business is in keeping with Diageo Plcs strategic focus to market its international brands Johnnie Walker, J&B Scotch, Smirnoff vodka and others.

Gilbeys Green Label whisky sold over a million cases in the year of launch and currently sells over 2 million cases per annum. It is currently the fourth largest brand with a share of over 8 per cent of the domestic regular whisky market.