Largest domestic liquor maker Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD) today acquired 50 per cent ownership rights in the Dutch liquor major Herman Jansen’s Mansion House brandy and Savoy Club whiskey and gin with full control over production and marketing.
Both ABD and Herman Jansen, however, did not disclose the deal value citing confidentiality as both the parties are privately held entities.
“ABD has purchased 50 per cent ownership rights on the brands Mansion House brandy and Savoy Club whiskey from Herman Jansen Beverages. We also have 100 per cent production and marketing rights here as well as in Southeast Asia,” ABD vice-chairman and chief executive Deepak Roy said announcing the deal in the presence of the Dutch partners.
It can be noted that there is a legal battle going on over the marketing rights over Mansion House in the country, which is the second largest brandy brand here, between ABD and Tilaknagar Industries, both of which claim marketing rights over the Dutch brand in the domestic market.
When asked about this, Roy said, “Though the matter is subjudice, we are confident that the deal will go through. At the same time, let me also add that the court has given an interim injunction in favour of Tilaknagar. But today we also have implead ourselves in the case along with Herman Jansen, the rightful owners of the brand, as we are confident of winning the case.”
He also pointed out that fight over brand ownership is not new either to the company or to the industry and his flagship brand, Officer’s Choice was also a disputed brand.
When asked about the funds for the purchase, Roy said it will be managed through internal accruals. However, he was quick to add that if the deal with Tilaknagar goes through he will have to raise funds through and IPO or from private equity partners. Already the company has two term-sheets from two PE players — Carlyle and TPG, he said.
Last May, Roy had told PTI that the company had two term sheets from Carlyle and TPG and was looking to raise USD 200-275 million in part equity and debt and was ready to divest 10-12 per cent to them. But today he said, “This will happen only if the deal with Tilaknagar happens.”
Roy also expressed his desire to fully acquire Tilaknagar at a reasonable price. ABD has been eyeing to takeover Tilaknagar for quite some time but has been unable to do so over valuation.
ABD is the third-largest and the fastest-growing spirits company in the country today, and its flagship brand Officer’s Choice has become the largest selling mass whiskey brand in the world last year.
Speaking about the deal, Herman Jansen director Henricus Jansen said, “ABD is very strong player in this country with a strong production continued…