USL to sell 32 popular mass brands to Inbrew Beverages for Rs 820 cr

The transaction does not include the McDowell’s or Director’s Special brands, which will be retained by USL

AgenciesUpdated: Saturday, May 28, 2022, 11:14 PM IST
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USL and Inbrew have entered into a 5- year franchise arrangement for 11 other brands, including Bagpiper. /Representational image |

Diageo-controlled liquor maker United Spirits Ltd (USL) has announced the sale and franchising of over 30 popular brands to Singapore-based Inbrew Beverages for an estimated consideration of Rs 820 crore.

''USL and Inbrew have executed definitive agreements for the sale of the entire business undertaking associated with 32 brands, including iconic brands Haywards, Old Tavern, White-Mischief, Honey Bee, Green Label and Romanov, for a total cash consideration of approximately Rs 820 crore, subject to customary adjustments,” it said.

The transaction does not include the McDowell’s or Director’s Special brands, which will be retained by USL.

''The sale portfolio covers the entire business undertaking associated with the 32 brands set out below, including the related contracts, permits, intellectual property rights, associated employees, and a manufacturing facility,” it said.

In addition, USL and Inbrew have entered into a 5- year franchise arrangement for 11 other brands, including Bagpiper.

''USL has also granted Inbrew a right, subject to certain conditions, to convert the fixed term franchise arrangement into one with perpetual rights to use and/or a call option to acquire the brands at a pre-agreed consideration,” it said.

The Company expects to complete the transaction by the end of the quarter ending 30 September 2022. USL's popular portfolio comprises around 30 entry-level lower-priced liquor brands, with an average price of less than Rs 400 for a 750 ml bottle, and straddle whisky, rum, brandy, vodka and gin.

Commenting on the development USL Managing Director & CEO Hina Nagarajan said ''the transaction reflects the continued evolution of the management of the Popular portfolio since 2016, when the company moved to a franchise model in many states, to enable a sharpened focus on ‘Prestige & Above’''.

While Inbrew Chairman Ravi Deol said this is a significant move to reshape the company’s portfolio and mission to deliver sustained double-digit profitable top-line growth.

''The acquisition of these iconic brands provides Inbrew with a unique platform to extend its ambition of becoming India’s trusted household beverage company. These brands have delighted consumers over generations, and we are excited at the prospect of strengthening this legacy,” he said.

Inbrew will revitalise these brands through expanded distribution, innovation and investments.

Last year Inbrew acquired North American lager producer Molson Coors' Indian beer business.

''After the acquisition of Molson Coors’ beer business last year, we will now participate in the mainstream spirits category, making Inbrew India’s diverse AlcoBev player,” he said.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, USL, which is Diageo India, is the country’s leading beverage alcohol company and a subsidiary of global leader Diageo PLC.

The company manufactures, sells and distributes an outstanding portfolio of premium brands such as Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, VAT 69, Antiquity, Signature, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No1, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan.

(With PTI inputs)

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