INDIA: United Spirits to seek shares sale
United Spirits intends to raise funds via a share placement, after a collapse of talks with private equity groups over a stake sale.
The India-based spirits giant, part of Vijay Mallya's UB Group, had been eyeing a stake sale to private equity groups worth around US$300m as part of its plan to raise funds to cut debt.
However, following reports this week that talks with private equity groups have broken down, a United Spirits spokesperson told just-drinks that the firm intends to raise funds via a share sale instead.
"We are going for qualified institutional placement. Details will be available on our site shortly," the spokesperson said today (14 October).
United Spirits entered talks with private equity as part of a deleveraging strategy, implemented in the last few months to help the firm pay down a US$625m loan taken out to fund the group's US$1.18bn buyout of Scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay in 2007.
The collapse of private equity talks follows a breakdown of negotiations between United Spirits and Diageo in August.
Diageo has shown interest in acquiring a stake in United Spirits, which controls around two thirds of the Indian spirits market, but sources close to the talks told just-drinks that the companies could not agree on the value of a stake.
The son of Vijay Mallya, the billionaire owner of India's UB Group, is to work for the firm's Scotch whisky subsidiary, Whyte & Mackay....
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