United Spirits to reduce debt by up to Rs 2,000 crore in 2 yrs

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New Delhi | Published: May 29, 2016 2:05:01 PM

Diageo-controlled liquor firm United Spirits Ltd (USL) is looking to reduce its debt by up to Rs 2,000 crore in the next two years through various measures that include sale of shares and properties earlier owned by embattled businessman Vijay Mallya.

united spirits share price, SensexUSL has an outstanding debt of over Rs 4,000 crore as on March 31, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Diageo-controlled liquor firm United Spirits Ltd (USL) is looking to reduce its debt by up to Rs 2,000 crore in the next two years through various measures that include sale of shares and properties earlier owned by embattled businessman Vijay Mallya.

“We are looking at a debt reduction of Rs 1,000-2,000 crore in the next two years. On an annualised basis, it would be around Rs 1,000-odd crore,” USL chief financial officer Sanjeev Churiwala told analysts in a conference call on Friday.

USL has an outstanding debt of over Rs 4,000 crore as on March 31, 2016.

Churiwala said the company will consider steps, including divesting 13 properties earlier owned by embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya and sale of USL shares currently under litigation with IDBI Bank.

“Sales of 13 properties would fetch around Rs 500-700 crore,” Churiwala said.

Mallya, however, has the first right to buy the properties as a part of the deal he had signed with Diageo in February to exit from USL.

In February Mallya, resigned as chairman of United Spirits Ltd (USL) after a long-drawn battle, after Diageo agreed to pay him $ 75 million, absolving him of any personal liability into financial irregularities being probed by the company and an honorary designation of ‘Founder Emeritus -USL’ among other things.

USL had entered into an agreement with Mallya which allows him or a party nominated by him to acquire up to 13 domestic properties from USL. Mallya has time till March this year to purchase 13 properties from its erstwhile group firm United Spirits.

Mallya is currently facing arrest over allegations of defaulting bank loans of over Rs 9,400 crore. India is trying to bring Mallya back in India who left for UK in March.

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