Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Diageo gets Sebi nod on Rs 11,449-cr open offer for United Spirits

Press Trust of India | Posted: May 26, 2014 2:29 pm

Global liquor giant Diageo Plc has received market regulator Sebi’s clearance for an open offer to acquire additional 26 per cent stake in United Spirits Ltd for Rs 11,448.91 crore.

This is the second open offer made by Diageo to gain majority control in India’s number one liquor firm.

As part of the deal to buy 53.4 per cent stake in Vijay Mallya-led UB group’s USL, Diageo has made a Rs 11,448.91 crore open offer for purchase of 26 per cent stake in the company from non-promoter shareholders.

The open offer, which was made last month, has been now cleared by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, according to a public notification.

Sebi issued final observations, necessary for the offer and the deal as a whole to go through, on May 21.

The global liquor giant would pay Rs 3,030 per share of USL, which is more than double the price of Rs 1,440 per share it offered in the previous bid last year.

The offer for 3,77,85,214 USL shares, being made through Relay BV, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Diageo, is another attempt by the company to increase its stake beyond 50 per cent in the flagship firm of the UB Group.

If the offer is fully subscribed, Relay will hold 54.78 per cent of USL’s issued share capital and will have paid about Rs 18,023.14 crore for its total shareholding in USL.

Relay currently holds 28.78 per cent of USL’s issued share capital, acquired for Rs 6,574.22 crore.

The open offer is scheduled to start on June 11 and close on June 24.

Diageo, which sells brands such as Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whiskey, had announced in 2012 it would pick up a 53.4 per cent stake in USL in a multi-structured deal for a total of Rs 11,166.5 crore.

The open offer Diageo made in April last year met a lukewarm response from shareholders of USL – India’s top spirits maker with brands such as Signature, Bagpiper, Antiquity and Royal Challenge – and it picked up a 25.02 per cent stake for Rs 5,235.85 crore.

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