UB, Diageo in final stages of talks for stake sale in USL

UB, Diageo in final stages of talks for stake sale in USL
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Jan 27 2009. 01 50 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jan 27 2009. 01 50 PM IST
New Delhi: Liquor baron Vijay Mallya-promoted United Breweries (UB) is in final stages of negotiations to sell up to 14.9% stake in group firm United Spirits Ltd (USL) to the world’s number one spirits maker Diageo.
“The deal is inching towards finalization,” a source close to the development said.
Mallya and his senior team comprising UB Group CFO Ravi Nedungadi, USL President and managing director Vijay Rekhi and USL CFO P A Murali will be meeting their Diageo counterparts on Wednesday at New York for the stake sale.
When contacted a UB Group official spokesperson declined to comment.
On the other hand, Diageo confirmed that both parties are in talks but declined to divluge details.
“Diageo can confirm that it is reviewing a possible collaboration with United Spirits Ltd. However, there is no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in a transaction,” a Diageo spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Mallya had confirmed that its officials are meeting with Diageo in New York on Wednesday.
“I don’t deny (there is) a meeting with Diageo in New York on Wednesday. There are several other interested players also,” Mallya told NDTV, adding any strategic player would see USL as a route to market.
Mallya also said the group is open to selling up to 14.9% of a total of 17% of treasury stocks in USL to a strategic partner, stating USL’s command in the India spirits market made it an attractive proposition.
“When they approached us, the share price of USL was Rs1,800. Why shouldn’t they be interested in the current value,” he asked.
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First Published: Tue, Jan 27 2009. 01 50 PM IST
More Topics: UB | Diageo | USL | Liquor | United Spirits |