United Spirits hits snag on Pioneer Distilleries buy

United Spirits hits snag on Pioneer Distilleries buy

India's regulator has delayed United Spirits' takeover of Pioneer Distilleries, according to the Vijay Mallya-controlled group.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sought "clarifications" on United Spirits' proposal to acquire a 54.7% stake in Pioneer Distilleries, the drinks giant said today (4 November).

The firm said that it is "in the process of" submitting further details on the deal to the regulator. It said that, as a consequence, the deal will take longer to complete. A deadline for completion will be announced "on receipt of the observations from SEBI".

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.

Last week, United Spirits said that volume sales rose by 11% for the first half of its fiscal year, to 53.2m cases. Net sales in the second quarter rose by 26% on the same period of last year, INR13.65bn (US$305.8m), following an 18% rise in net sales in the first quarter.