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Kingfisher king to take over Scottish distiller

This new bid with Whyte & Mackay is an attempt by the Kingfisher baron to spice up the Indian-produced malt whiskey.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 14:47 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Indian liquor magnate Vijay Mallya has made a bid to take over Scottish distiller Whyte & Mackay, a senior official of the company said on Tuesday.

Refuting reports that his company had been sold to Mallya's United Breweries, Chairman Vivian Immerman said the Indian liquor barron had made an "unsolicited bid".

Whyte & Mackay's brands include the Jura and Dalmore single malt whiskies, Vladivar Vodka and Glavya liqueur.

United Breweries (UB) dominates the Indian spirits market, the world's largest for whisky. The UK is the world's third biggest shipper of spirits after Pernod Ricard and Diageo. Mallya, MP, also owns the Kingfisher beer.

Whyte & Mackay is an attractive proposition because it has a large stock of aged single malt whisky, which could be blended with Indian-produced whisky to improve the flavour and add a touch of authenticity.

There is great demand for expensive imported whisky brands in India but Scottish whisky has only a one per cent foothold in the Indian market because of the tariffs imposed by Indian central and state governments.

First Published: Oct 10, 2006 14:41 IST