Diageo finally acquires controlling interest in United Spirits

Diageo has finally agreed a £1.2 billion (€1.5 billion) deal with Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits for a controlling interest in the Indian spirits company.

Initially Diageo will take up a 27.4 per cent share in United for £660 million (€826.4 million) as part of a larger arrangement that will see Diageo launching a mandatory tender offer to shareholders in USL  which represents a further 26 per cent of the company.

Vijay Mallya remains on as chairman, working with Diageo “to build the US business as the current consumer trends for premiumisation accelerate in India”, according to a statement from the two companies.

Negotiations have been long and hard with talks breaking down some three years ago over disagreements on value.
However today Paul Walsh commented on the Indian deal and the Indian market, “As a result of the agreements we are announcing today we will be well positioned to take the growth opportunities presented by a spirits market where growth is driven by the increasing number of middle-class consumers”.

Viyay Mallya commented, “I am confident that this winning partnership with Diageo provides USL with the best possible platform for future growth”.

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