The country’s largest spirits maker, United Spirits (USL), is taking steps to sell 13 properties owned earlier by the beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, as its former chairman failed to buy back those assets within a given time frame. USL in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges said that the period of this option has expired with Mallya or his nominee not purchasing any of the non-core properties.
When Mallya resigned as chairman of USL following a $75-million deal with the company’s new owner Diageo, in February 2016, the liquor baron had entered into a pact that allowed him or a party nominated by him to acquire up to 13 domestic properties from USL within a limited time span. The 13 properties to be sold by USL, were historically used or occupied by Vijay Mallya.
The company now intends to divest these non-core assets at market value through a transparent process, under the overall supervision and direction of the concerned board committee. The company did not specifically mention the identity of the properties which will be put on the block. United Spirits, however, said that though it received call notices from a party nominated by Mallya indicating interest to purchase four of the properties, the notices have since expired due to the party’s inaction.