New Delhi : United Spirits will sell UK arm Whyte & Mackay for 430 million pounds (about Rs 4,360 crore) to Philippines-based Emperador in a bid to clear a regulatory hurdle related to Diageo’s acquisition of the company formerly controlled by Vijay Mallya.
The United Spirits board had recommended that its indirectly owned subsidiary United Spirits (Great Britain) Ltd consider the sale of Whyte & Mackay Group to Emperador UK Ltd, a unit of Emperador Inc, “for an enterprise value of 430 million pounds”, the firm said in a BSE filing.
“United Spirits (Great Britain) has approved the sale and entered into the sale and purchase agreement with Emperador UK and Emperador Inc,” it added. In November, UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) found Diageo’s USD 2 billion takeover of United Spirits to be anti-competitive, stating the deal might lead to reduced competition in the supply of blended whisky to retailers.
However, the sale of Whyte & Mackay will be subject to Indian and UK regulatory approvals, including that of the Reserve Bank of India, since United Spirits will write off a significant amount of loans given to the UK arm, it said, without specifying the exposure. “I am delighted to be able to pass on Whyte and Mackay into the hands of a new owner who is committed to realising the full potential of the business and whose vision for Whyte and Mackay is aligned with that
of USL,” United Spirits Chairman Mallya said in a statement.