United Spirits, the Indian drinks giant, is to deleverage its balance sheet within the next two weeks, a company official has confirmed to just-drinks.

A United Spirits (USL) source, who wished not to be named, today (26 June) confirmed local media reports two of the world's top five private equity firms have made offers to invest US$200-300m in the group.

Chairman Vijay Mallya is open to placing USL's treasury stock, and not the promoter holding, with either Diageo or the private equity firms, or both.

Talks with Diageo Plc for a stake sale have progressed slowly, just-drinks understands.

Recent mergers with a range of spirit companies created the treasury stock holding which could be resold to the public.

USL's net profit was down 14.6% INR 556Mn in its last fiscal year.

USL's promoters have pledged a total 33.22% equity of the overall 36.57% promoter equity, according to the official.