Diageo`s spirited talks for stake in Mallya`s firm USL fail
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 00:00
New Delhi: World's largest alcohol player Diageo's protracted efforts for a pie in India's liquor king Vijay Mallya's group firm failed on Tuesday but neither side gave reasons for the abrupt ending.

The British firm was to buy 15 per cent stake in Mallya's United Spirits Ltd (USL) and the two firms were in talks since early this year for the sale of USL's treasury stock -- created by amalgamation and demergers and not traded on exchanges.

The deal would have added global brands like Johnnie Walker Black Label and Smirnoff to the USL stable, which already has McDowell's No.1, Romanov, Royal Challenge and Black Dog in portfolio.

A top USL official confirmed the development but did not want to be identified.

Meanwhile, when contacted, the company spokesperson said that he would need to check the details and get back.

UB Group was planning to retire a portion of its debts through the stake sale to Diageo, which eventually was keen on picking up more than 15 per cent in India's largest spirits maker.

In May 2007, UB had raised a debt of 595 million pounds for buying Scotch major Whyte & Mackay.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 00:00

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