Mallya's UB group buys Whyte and Mackay for 595 million pounds
May 16, 2007 - 3:10:31 PM

London, May 16 - India's flamboyant spirits-to-aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya Wednesday announced the takeover over Whyte and Mackay, one of Britain's biggest drinks company, for 595 million pounds, notching yet another milestone for the global spread of Indian enterprise.

The deal, announced at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel, is the latest of a spate of takeover of British and European businesses by Indian entrepreneurs such as Ratan Tata - and Lakshmi N. Mittal -.

The announcement was made by Mallya along with the current chairman of Whyte and Mackay, Vivian Imerman. The takeover deal positions Mallya UB group company in the European market as well as enriching its portfolio of brands in the large Indian market, where the company is already a market leader.

For Imerman and his brother-in-law, Robert Tchenguiz, the deal is a windfall. The two had bought Whyte and Mackay, which is Britain's largest producer of own-label scotch, for 200 million pounds.

Industry sources say that Mallya will now use the takeover of Whyte and Mackay as the springboard for a London listing of his fast-growing spirits empire. Its products include brands such as Isle of Jura and Dalmore single malts.

Whyte and Mackay employs 600 people and is expected to record profits of more than 50 million pounds in the current financial year. It said over the weekend that it expected to see annual growth of at least 20 per cent over the next five years.

Mallya's company already has a strategic beer alliance with Edinburgh-based Scottish and Newcastle. Incidentally, the UB Group has Scottish origins, having been founded in 1915 by a Scot called Thomas Leishman.

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