New Delhi. The stock of Vijay Mallya-led United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd. rose 9.15% on Wednesday on reports that he was selling a stake in Formula One team Force India to Sahara Group.
UB Holdings rose to Rs 107.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The benchmark Sensex rose 2.55% to 16,958.39.
UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya. (File photo)
With just over a fortnight left for the first ever Formula One race to be held in India, Mallya is expected to sell a stake in the team to the Subroto Roy led group, according to PTI.
The two are scheduled to address a news briefing in Delhi on Wednesday evening, according to a Sahara spokesperson.
On 7 October, Mallya had said he had no plans to sell the Formula One team and pledged his long-term commitment ahead of the country’s maiden Grand Prix, according to Reuters.
“As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit,” Mallya said at the time.
Force India was formed in 2007 when a consortium led by Mallya and Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol bought the loss-making Spyker Formula One team and later renamed it Force India.
The country’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix will be held on 30 October on a 5.14 km track in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, being built by Jaypee Sports International (JPSI).
Force India, whose current drivers are German Adrian Sutil and Britain’s Paul Di Resta, are currently placed sixth in the Formula One constructor standings.
Mallya has a profitable liquor business, but is facing rough weather in aviation.
His Kingfisher airline, India’s second-largest private airline, which has never reported a profit, recently announced plans to exit the low-cost part of the airline business and focus on the premium model to reduce debt.
The auditors of Kingfisher have said that the firm needs extra cash as the airline struggles to survive in a challenging market.
The Sahara group, which also supported the Indian hockey team, had bid $370 million to became owners of the Pune franchise in cricket’s Indian Premier League in October, 2010.
Reuters also contributed to this story.