Diageo is moving to take majority control of United Spirits.

Diageo is moving to take majority control of United Spirits.

Diageo has welcomed a decision by India's Supreme Court to hear its appeal against a regional ruling that threatens part of its stake in United Spirits.

In a statement to just-drinks today (11 February), the company said it is “pleased that our appeal will now be heard”, while maintaining that its purchase of a 6.98% stake in United Spirts from UB Holdings last year was “genuine and bona fide”. In December, the Karnataka High Court declared the stake purchase, which forms part of Diageo's attempt to take majority control of United Spirits, null and void.

Diageo said in the statement: “Diageo remains of the view that the Karnataka Appeal Court decision was wrong in law and based on erroneous facts.”

The company also said that, while the matter is being heard by the Supreme Court, it remains the legal owner of the 6.98% stake.

The Supreme Court will hear Diageo's appeal in April. 

The stake was part of a 14.98% tranche of shares bought from UB Holdings in July. The remainder of the shares is not being contested.

Diageo currently owns 28.78% of United Spirits, it said.