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Mallya to decide on W&M in two weeks

Indulal PM   May 11, 2007
First Published: 21:16 IST(11/5/2007) | Last Updated: 21:37 IST(11/5/2007)

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya will take a decision on the proposed acquisition of European Scotch whiskey major Whyte & Mackay in the next two weeks.

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The Glasgow-based firm has asked Mallya's UB group to pay $ 1.38 billion for the buyout and UB will decide how much it is willing to pay within two weeks, group chairman Vijay Mallya told Bloomberg.

The acquisition, if successful, will give UB a direct entry into the European Scotch market, analysts said.

Whyte & Mackay has about 10 per cent of global Scotch whisky market and has products like W&M Scotch whiskey, the Dalmore Single Highland Malt, Vladivar vodka and Jura single-malt scotch. It also owns Europe's largest grain distillery, Invergordon.

"Whyte & Mackay will be the best choice for UB as it intends to increase its global presence and is trying to tap global Scotch whiskey market. W&M has a large stock of aged single malt whiskey, which could be blended with Indian-produced whiskey to improve the flavour and add a touch of authenticity," said an analyst with Edelweiss Securities.

Earlier last year, Mallya had made a failed bid to acquire Champagne Taittinger. However, UB could acquire Bouvet Ladubay, the wine subsidiary of the French champagne major, for € 15 million.


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