INDIA: UB Group chief sparks uncertainty around Diageo deal - report
Mallya's comments appear to have dampened his group's share performance
Despite this comment, Mallya told Reuters yesterday (28 October) he will do "what is good... for myself, my family wealth and for long-term shareholder value", when it comes to the deal. "I am not so sure that I lack commercial acumen to the extent that I would sell a hugely thriving, successful business to take the cash and put it into an airline in an environment such as India," Mallya was reported as saying.
UB Group and Diageo confirmed last month they have resumed talks over the UK-based group taking a stake in UB unit United Spirits.
However the current focus is on the state of another of Mallya's assets, debt-laden Kingfisher, which had it licence suspended by the Indian aviation authorities last week and has faced a staff revolt over unpaid wages.
The airline has since said it will fund itself in a bid to restart operations, while staff have agreed to return to work after a deal was struck over wages.
"My group is sufficiently cash-generative to fund the airline as we have done. We have put almost GBP150m (US$241.47m) since April 2012 into the airline," said Mallya. "But, that has not meant that I have had to sell my family silver to fund the airline."
However, he is looking for business partners for the airline and the UB Group chairman said he is "trying to put together a good solid strong package".
Shares in United Spirits fell sharply today, and are currently down by 9.15%.
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