Diageo is still waiting on SEBI clearance

Diageo is still waiting on SEBI clearance

Diageo has confirmed that India's competition watchdog has okayed its planned purchase of a stake in United Spirits, but warned that further approval is still needed.

Yesterday (28 February), the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said on its website that it has cleared Diageo's INR111.7bn (US$2.05bn) buy of a majority share in United Spirits. However, Diageo told just-drinks today that it is still waiting for clearance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

A spokesperson said: “I can confirm that Diageo has received CCI approval. SEBI clearance has not been received; we have received SEBI's letter of observations and are responding to it.”

Last month, SEBI confirmed on its website that it had sent Diageo a "letter of observation", but its comments on the deal are not public. 

Diageo also requires approval from India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, before it can launch the tender offer. The spokesperson said: “We intend to launch the mandatory tender offer within 12 working days of the receipt of all applicable statutory approvals.”

Diageo announced its long-expected play for a stake in United Spirits in November.