India's UB Group hogged the headlines again last week. With the conglomerate's Kingfisher Airlines division stumbling around in the background, the group's United Spirits division has taken centre stage for many observers who see the unit as being UB's golden goose. Having gained approval late last week to raise US$225m through a bond issue, could United Spirits be set to ride to Kingfisher's aid? The group maintains that the divisions are totally separate; does that mean, then, that UB chief Vijay Mallya would not consider the divestment of at least a stake in United Spirits?
If you don't ask, folks...
Other top stories included the creation of a JV between PepsiCo and Ocean Spray Cranberries to target Latin America, a new high for Cognac exports in 2011 and trading updates from Remy Cointreau and SABMiller.
It was prediction week on just-drinks, although I can't help thinking that our commentators didn't take the task in hand all that seriously. First up, Ian Buxton considered what 2012 will offer the world of whisk(e)y. The wine industry, meanwhile, can turn to the soothsayer that is Chris Losh, who predicts a very busy – albeit faintly ludicrous – year ahead.
Finally, might I wish you all Kung Hei Fat Choi, or plain old happy Chinese New Year. As we welcome in the year of the dragon, take a look here to get a better feel for the country's domestic spirit, baijiu. Gan bei!
Until next time...