United Spirits has said that it expects to acquire control of India's Pioneer Distilleries by early February.

The Vijay Mallya-controlled spirits group said yesterday (10 January) that the acquisition is set to complete on 3 February. The deal was originally set to close in November last year, but the process was delayed after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sought "clarifications".

In September, United Spirits said that it would offer INR740m (US$16m) for a 54.7% stake in Pioneer, which has a distillery near Nanded in Maharashtra, east of Mumbai. In accordance with stock exchange regulations, United Spirits will also make an offer to Pioneer's shareholders for a further 20% stake in the firm.

The company will officially open its offer for Pioneer on 15 January, said the group, which is the second largest distiller in the world by volume thanks to its dominant position in India's maturing spirits market.