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United Spirits starts integrating operations of W&M

After acquiring Whyte & Mackay in a $1.28 billion deal last week, United Spirits, the flagship of the Vijay Mallya controlled UB group, has begun integrating operations, reports Lalatendu Mishra.

business Updated: May 21, 2007 19:31 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

After acquiring Whyte & Mackay (W&M) in a $1.28 billion (595 pounds) deal last week, United Spirits, the flagship of the Vijay Mallya controlled UB group, has begun integrating operations.

UB has shifted two of its key officials Alok Gupta and Ashok Roy to Glasgow. Roy will be in charge of W&M’s finances, while Gupta will look after the overall operations. However, W&M's operations will continue to be run by the existing management.

Vivian Imerman, who had stepped down from the position of Chairman and CEO after the deal, has been retained in the company as strategic advisor to Vijay Mallya.

"It’s only four days since we acquired Whyte & Mackay and total integration will take a long time. As a first step, we will introduce W&M scotch brands in India and other markets where we operate. We were lacking a scotch portfolio and now they will be available through our strong distribution network," Mallya said.

Asked whether the UB group would increase the existing manpower of 600 at W&M, Mallya said, "In fact we want to ramp up capacity. Currently, we have 116 million liters of matured scotch and we want to grow it further."

United Spirits Great Britain Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of United Spirits Ltd acquired W&M in a leveraged buyout for which ICICI Bank and Citibank funded 635 pounds. Mallya said the money left over had been earmarked for working capital and UB has also sold its treasury stocks to part fund this acquisition. He said that this acquisition is net positive to United Spirit’s balance sheet.