Mallya may sell up to 49 per cent in Whyte & Mackay

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya is planning to sell around 49 per cent in UK-based Whyte & Mackay (W&M), a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Spirits Ltd.

USL had acquired 100 per cent stake in W&M for 595 million pounds in May 2007.

USL was planning to raise cash through a strategic partner and a possible sale of up to 14.9 per cent from its treasury stocks, for which it was recently in talks with world's biggest spirit maker Diageo recently.

A UB Group spokesperson merely said "the divestment of up to 49 per cent in Whyte & Mackay was always part of United Spirits Ltd's de-leveraging plan." He did not disclose details.

"We are not in a position to offer any further comment except to say that we expect the value to reflect the substantial appreciation in whisky inventory," he said.

USL is the largest spirits company in India and among the top three spirits companies in the world.

Besides its 100 per cent subsidiaries Whyte & Mackay and Bouvet Ladubay, USL has 17 millionaire brands (which sell more than a million cases a year) in its portfolio and has a 59 per cent market share in India.

USL has a global presence with exports to over 18 countries. With distilleries and sales offices all across India, the company employs over 7,500 people.