Tilaknagar Industries (TI), the maker of Mansion House Brandy, is planning to sell stakes worth around `825 crore to pare its debt, according to a top company official.
The company, which is battling a court case over the use of the Mansion House trademark in India, is being sought after by Kishore Chhabaria-owned Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), which makes Officer’s Choice Whisky.
“We are very much interested in acquiring Tilaknagar Industries to grow our profits,” Deepak Roy, ABD’s executive vice-chairman and CEO, told HT.
Tilaknagar confirmed that the two companies had held exploratory talks, but a deal with ABD was not a certainty.
“We did have some preliminary exploratory talks with them. The idea was that we have a strong brandy and rum portfolio and they bring lot of strengths with their whisky portfolio,” said Amit Dahanukar, chairman and managing director, TI. He added that the company was not actively speaking with anyone presently.
The deal is learnt to be stuck over the fact that ABD wants to acquire Tilaknagar, while the latter is seeking only a stake sale.
“We are only interested in a selling a small stake to either strategic or financial investor, we are certainly not interested in a Vijay Mallya type transaction, which is a total sell-out,” said Dahanukar.
Dutch firm UTO Nederland BV (now called Herman Jansen), the owner of Mansion House brand, had entered into a licensing deal with TI for production and distribution of the brandy in India.
UTO has dragged TI to court stating that although the partnership expired in 2007, TI continues to produce and sell Mansion House brandy in the country. TI in turn claims that the Dutch firm had given perpetual rights for using the brand in India.
A single judge bench of the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of Tilaknagar Industries in 2012, and this judgement has since been challenged by UTO.