INDIA: UB mulls Independent bid - report

By | 30 August 2006

UB Group has reportedly earmarked New Zealand's Independent Liquor as a potential takeover target.

The Indian drinks giant is understood to be mulling a bid for Independent, which last week invited offers for the company.

According to a report from the Asia Pulse news agency today (30 August), UB is evaluating Independent, which produces RTD brands including Vodka Cruiser, Mudshake and FX, and is believed to be worth up to A$1.1bn (US$839m).

"We may make a bid once the valuation process is completed," an unnamed "top" UB group official told Asia Pulse. Officials at UB in Bangalore could not be reached for further comment when contacted by just-drinks.

Trans-Tasman beer and wine group Lion Nathan last week received a boost when New Zealand's competition watchdogs gave the company the green light to table a bid from Independent, should it wish to do so.

Last week also saw UB linked with a possible acquisition of an unnamed winery in South Africa. The company, headed by Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya, has also been reported to be interested in UK distiller Whyte & Mackay.

In July, UB made its first direct investment outside Asia with the acquisition of Loire wine producer Bouvet-Ladubay for an undisclosed sum.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Spirits

Companies: UB Group, Lion Nathan, Whyte & Mackay

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