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Diageo seeking stake in United Spirits: companies

business Updated: Sep 25, 2012 12:46 IST

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British drinks giant Diageo is in talks to buy a stake in India's United Spirits, the two companies said in a brief statement Tuesday.

The statement confirmed earlier reports that the two companies were in talks "for Diageo plc to acquire an interest in United Spirits Limited", but added "there is no certainty that these discussions will lead to a transaction."

On Monday, reports of the talks sent shares in United Spirits, controlled by billionaire Vijay Mallya, to a day's high of 1,099.95 rupees before closing at 1,054.0 rupees, still up 6.03 percent.

Media reports quoting unnamed sources had suggested last week that Diageo, the world's biggest distiller, and United Spirits might announce a deal by next month.

Analysts say Diageo is looking at United Spirits to gain a significant foothold in India's lucrative local spirits market.