Heineken may pay around US$100m as a commercial distribution fee to India's leading brewer, United Breweries, headed by Vijay Mallya.

Local reports have cited informed sources as saying that a commercial fee for handling distribution and marketing of Heineken in India is part of the ongoing discussions between the two brewers to forge a joint venture.

A senior source close to United Breweries did not deny the report when contacted by just-drinks today (11 December).

Heineken acquired a 37.5% stake in United Breweries (UB group), after its part in the buyout of Scottish & Newcastle earlier this year. Vijay Mallya also holds 37.5% stake.

However, Heineken does not enjoy any management control in UB, unlike S&N, which had appointed UB's CFO and two directors.

UB previously filed action against Heineken in Mumbai's High Court, arguing that S&N's position within UB would not automatically be transferred to Heineken and claiming the Dutch brewer's role is subject to negotiation.

A Heineken spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.

By a just-drinks Mumbai correspondent