The merger between India's largest beer maker, United Breweries (UBL), and its part-owned local unit Millennium Alcobev looks likely to be postponed.

UBL already works together with Millennium Alcobev operationally but has said a formal merger may be some way off.

"While the operational merger is already there, a legal merger may not happen in the near future," a UBL spokesperson told just-drinks today (29 March). The spokesperson did not set a timeline for a possible merger.

UBL has reportedly cooled on the idea of a formal merger because of Millennium Alcobev's debt, which is understood to be around INR2bn (US$44.9m).

Millennium Alcobev, a 50:50 joint venture between UBL and Scottish & Newcastle, commands around 11% of India's beer market, taking UBL's share to almost 50%.