UK: UB Group closes Whyte & Mackay purchase

By | 16 May 2007

India's UB Group has finally succeeded in snapping up Whyte & Mackay.

The Indian company, headed by billionaire Dr Vijay Mallya, confirmed this morning (16 May) that its United Spirits subsidiary has completed the purchase for GBP595m (US$1.18bn). United Spirits will take complete control of Whyte & Mackay's brands including The Dalmore, Isle of Jura, Glayva, Fettercairn, Vladivar vodka and its eponymous blended Scotch.

The group described the move as "a key strategic acquisition", adding that it sees significant revenue growth opportunities going forward.

"Until today, the only missing link in our portfolio has been Scotch and due to the shortages and rapidly increasing prices of Scotch whisky, we needed a reliable supply source to secure our future considering we use Scotch in our Indian blends," said Dr Mallya. "The potential for premium Scotch whisky in India is enormous and, with the acquisition of Whyte & Mackay, we now have a strong portfolio of internationally-recognised brands that we will immediately introduce into the Indian market.

"I am satisfied that the price agreed (for Whyte & Mackay) is attractive," Dr Mallya concluded.

Whyte & Mackay CEO, Vivian Imerman, added: "With the UB Group's ability to sell and market brands, Whyte & Mackay will be taken to a new level again. This is now a great company and is going to a great home."

Imerman will remain with the Whyte & Mackay group as a strategic advisor to Dr Mallya.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: UB Group, Whyte & Mackay, Vladivar

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Comment - UB Group and Whyte & Mackay

The recent takeover of Whyte & Mackay by the Indian UB Group is hardly the first time the Glasgow-based Scotch whisky producer has changed hands over the past 20 years or so. Patience Gould, who has seen all the various owners come and go, runs an eye over the latest deal and assesses what it has to offer both Whyte & Mackay and the Scotch whisky sector as a whole.

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