The private equity firms in talks with United Spirits over a potential stake buy have been named by a local report as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Blackstone Group and Capital International.

A United Spirits (USL) source told just-drinks earlier this week that the company was seeking investment, possibly of around US$200-300m, from a top private equity group, as it looks to pay down debt.

No names were given, but a report in India's Economic Times newspaper today (2 July) names Blacktsone, KKR and Capital International as investors interested in acquiring a stake of up to 10% in USL.

Separately, USL confirmed to just-drinks this week that it remains in talks with Diageo over a potential stake sale. It would not comment on the progress of the talks.

USL, which controls more than two thirds of India's spirits market and is part of billionaire Vijay Mallya's UB Group, is seeking to deleverage.

The firm raised INR11bn (US$180m) this week to meet a September payment on a US$625m loan taken out to fund the acquisition of Whyte & Mackay, bought for $1.18bn in 2007.

The firm raised INR9bn by Shaw Wallace selling all of its 10.3m shares in the group, via the Mumbai Stock Exchange. A further share sale on the National Stock Exchange raised INR2bn.

Additional reporting by Kevin Jacobs.