New Delhi: Dutch beer major Heineken on Wednesday ruled out changes in the ownership structure of United Breweries Ltd and its partnership with Vijay Mallya, despite its stake in the Indian firm going up to 42.1%.

On Tuesday, Heineken had bought 3.2% in United Breweries Ltd (UBL) from Diageo-controlled United Spirits (USL), which exited for a consideration of 872 crore. “Due to this transaction, Heineken’s stake in UBL goes up from 38.9% to 42.1%. This does not materially change the ownership structure nor the nature of our collaboration. It is very much business as usual for all parties," a Heineken spokesperson said in an e-mailed response.

Asked if the UB board structure could be recast following the change in the shareholding pattern, the spokesperson said, “There are no changes being made to the UBL governance structure. Heineken remains very pleased with the business in India and the partnership with Dr Mallya."

Heineken had indirectly acquired a 37.5% stake in UBL following its worldwide takeover of Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) in January 2008. Next year, UBL inked a pact with Heineken accepting it as an equal partner in its beer business.

Under the pact, it was announced that Heineken will manufacture and market its world-renowned beer ‘Heineken’ only through UBL. Elaborating on the reasons for picking up additional stake in UBL, he said: “The shares were offered to us by United Spirits Ltd and as a long-term partner in UBL, it made sense for us to buy them."

He further said: “We believe in the Indian beer market and UBL’s long-term future and are happy to increase our exposure to the potential future upsides."

Close