Heineken to buy Scottish & Newcastle's UB stake

Dutch brewer Heineken is set to buy UK-based Scottish & Newcastle’s (S&N) 37.49 per cent stake in Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries. This is part of a worldwide deal under which S&N’s global operations will be jointly acquired by Danish beer giant Carlsberg and Heineken for $15.4 billion. Under an agreement reached by three companies involved in the deal, Heineken will take over S&N’s India operations.

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Vijay Mallya holds 37.49 per cent in UB. The company’s shareholder pattern consists of 74.98 per cent of promoter group holdings (37.49 per cent each by Mallya and S&N), 16.15 per cent foreign institutional investors, 6.55 per cent individuals and 2.32 per cent others.

UB’s share price on the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 6.82 per cent from Rs 289.50 to Rs 309.25 as the falling stock market bounced back. However, Heineken may not be required to make an open offer. According to Securities and Exchange Board of India rules, the open offer will be triggered only if a single shareholder acquires more than 14.99 per cent.

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Sources indicate that this may not be applicable in this case as the shareholding is likely to be structured to avoid such a situation. S&N has three directors on the UB board, the same number as represented by Vijay Mallya’s camp.

Welcoming Heineken’s association, UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya said, “Heineken is one of the world’s leading beer brands and there is great potential for combining the strengths of the two companies to participate in the exciting future of the Indian beer market”, he added.

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A K Ravi Nedungadi, UB group president and chief financial officer, said the structure and the terms of the sale have not been decided.

“Heineken will give immediate priority to its transactions in the UK and then look at India. The finer details on how Heineken and UB will cooperate will be decided in a few weeks,” he said.

Above news courtesy: Business Standard

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