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Diageo ups USL stake

Mumbai, July 2: Diageo Plc today said it had acquired majority control in United Spirits Ltd (USL) through an open offer.

The world’s second largest liquor maker has acquired an additional 26 per cent in USL for Rs 11,448.91 crore, taking its stake to 54.78 per cent from 28.78 per cent.

UK-based Diageo paid Rs 3,030 for a share of USL, which is more than double of Rs 1,440 it had offered in the previous bid last year.

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Relay B.V, Diageo accepted the tender of 37,785,214 shares, or 26 per cent equity, of USL for Rs 11,448.91 crore, a press statement issued by the company said.

“Diageo expects to fully consolidate the results of USL from July 2. Diageo will have a total interest of 54.78 per cent in USL acquired for a total consideration of Rs 18,023.14 crore,” it disclosed.

On Wednesday, shares of USL closed at Rs 2,486.55 a share, up 2.93 per cent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

“India has now become one of Diageo’s largest markets and will be a major contributor to our growth ambitions,” Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said.

He said USL was the leading player in the Indian spirits market with great brands. “We can now combine that strong platform with Diageo’s strengths to create a compelling future in India for Diageo, USL and the Indian spirits industry,” he said.

Diageo’s earlier Rs 5,441-crore offer for a 26 per cent stake in United Spirits had received a poor response from public investors.

 
 
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