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INDIA: United Spirits hangs fire on US$225m bond issuance

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United Spirits has confirmed that it will delay the issuance of a set of bonds that is set to raise the company US$225m.

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The Indian firm, which is part of The UB Group, said earlier this week that it will hold back from issuing $225m in Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCB), announced in January. The bonds will be issued only after United Spirits has compiled its accounts for last month.

Speaking to local reporters, a spokesperson for United Spirits said: "The bankers to the issue felt that, if we are able to provide the audited accounts or numbers as of March, 2012, it will give a better platform for us to explore not only FCCBs but also high yield bonds.

"Hence, we decided (that we will) go to the market once our audited numbers are ready, while ensuring all other aspects of the transaction, like due diligence, are completed in the interim.”

The spokesperson also distanced the bond issue from speculation linking United Spirits to providing a bail-out for UB Group's troubled Kingfisher Airlines subsidiary. “The fact that United Spirits is a constituent of the same group in which a stressed asset like Kingfisher Airlines is a part, has got no bearing or impact on the success or otherwise of a public issuance,” the spokesperson said.


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