| Mallya: Firm plans
Mumbai, July 14: Vijay Mallya ' the irrepressible booze and beer baron ' is prowling for more buyouts to consolidate the position of his UB Group in the spirits business.
“Fundamentally, we believe in growth through acquisitions along with organic growth. Thus, we will pursue buyouts aggressively but it will have to significantly increase shareholders’ value,” Mallya, chairman of the UB Group, said.
Besides acquiring French winemaker Bouvet Ladubay for 14.75 million euros, the company has also acquired Perthshire-based McDowell and Company (Scotland) Limited for '1.6 million.
The facilities of McDowell Scotland will be utilised to set up a Scotch maturation unit.
“It will enable us to purchase young grain and malt spirits at economic prices and mature them in-house, thereby enhancing the overall profitability,” said Mallya.
Keeping in mind the higher margins and better profitability from premium products, the company has decided to move up the value chain and focus on quality and profitability rather than quantity.
“It would also entail launching Scottish brands and Scotch whisky in India,” said Mallya.
“While we were initially sceptical about the growth of wines in India, our research has shown that the Indian consumer has become more discerning and the segment is set to grow exponentially,” said Mallya.
The company will set up a bottling facility at its existing premises of Baramati Grape Industries Ltd at a cost of 5 million euros within six months. It also plans to set up a winery at the premises at a later date and import viticulture technology from France.
McDowell and Co Ltd has decided to amalgamate Shaw Wallace Distilleries Ltd, Herbertsons Ltd and six other group companies with itself and demerge its investment business into McDowell India Spirits Ltd.
United Breweries Holdings Ltd, the investment holding company of Vijay Mallya-controlled UB Group, said it would issue bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1.