INDIA/UK: United Spirits could sell Whyte & Mackay stake
United Spirits says no decision taken on Whyte & Mackay stake sale
After several weeks of speculation about ways United Spirits might seek to combat its high debt load, the Vijay Mallya-controlled drinks maker has said that it is assessing its options.
Commenting on a report that the group is set to sell a 49% stake in its Whyte & Mackay Scotch whisky business, United Spirits told the Mumbai stock exchange today (28 February) that its board of directors has not discussed the matter. However, it conceded that a deal is possible.
"The company have only expressed that [a] sale of 49% stake in Whyte & Mackay Ltd is one of the several options available to United Spirits to reduce its debt, but no decision has been taken in this regard," said the group. Concern has grown about United Spirits debt alongside the travails of Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines business.
Last week, India's Business Standard newspaper cited United Spirits' CFO, Pathai Murali, as saying the firm faces a "tight rope walk" until it can "monetise" assets. One analyst told just-drinks that Mallya might be forced to yield equity in United Spirits itself. "Diageo would love to have a stake in that business," the analyst said.
At the end of last week, United Spirits was forced to deny that it has provided any corporate guarantee on behalf of Kingfisher Airlines. Both firms are part of Mallya's UB Group.
How do you define a truly international brand? And does it matter. Can it be decided purely on volumes? Patience Gould digs out her atlas as she ponders the issue...
Patience Gould is keen to snap you romanticists back into the real world. Brace yourselves......
The Anti-Corruption Bureau in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has issued notices to United Spirits, Pernod Ricard and SABMiller in an ongoing probe into retail syndicates....
- Focus - Pernod's YTD Performance by Region
- Comment - Will We Understand the Language of Rum?
- just On Call - Pernod shifts Scotch focus in China
- Focus - Heineken's Q1 Performance by Region
- just The Preview - Pernod Ricard's Q3 & YTD
- CFO of Diageo's United Spirits stands down
- Pernod Ricard sees YTD recover as sales increase
- BrewDog launches GBP25m crowd-funding attempt
- Remy Cointreau US head to step down
- Africa "subdued" but Heineken sees Q1 rises
- Global Tequila insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Diageo plc (DGE) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Bacardi Limited - Strategy and SWOT Report
- ALDI 2015: Radically transforming Anglo Saxon grocery markets