UB Group has put in a bid for a major stake in Shaw Wallace & Co. The Indian brewer has bid INR3bn (US$68.7m) for 25% of the company, equating to INR250 per share, an 8.2% premium on Shaw Wallace's share price yesterday (22 February).

Shaw Wallace had originally considered selling its liquor business outright. Vijay Mallya, chairman of UB Group, told reporters in a conference call: "We had already bid for the spirits business and emerged the highest bidder." The Chabbria family, which controls Shaw Wallace, later changed the structure of the deal and decided to sell a 55% stake in the parent company rather than sell the spirits business separately.

"I would like to emphasise that our decision to bid for 25% of the shares of Shaw Wallace is one step closer to our desire to acquire to acquire the 55% from the Chabbria family," said Mallya.

By law, Mallya would now have to make an open offer for acquiring at least another 20% in Shaw Wallace at INR250.

Late last year, Scottish & Newcastle agreed to buy a 37.5% stake in UB Group's United Breweries Ltd subsidiary.