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Heineken boosts UBL stake with Diageo share acquisition

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Dutch beer giant Heineken NV has boosted its stake in United Breweries Ltd (UBL), with the acquisition of Diageo-controlled United Spirits Ltd’s 3.2 per cent share in UBL for USD138 million (Rs 872 crore). With this buyout, Heineken’s stake in UBL has risen to 42.1 per cent.

The sale of 8.5 million United Breweries shares was done through a block trade on the National Stock Exchange at Rs 1,030 apiece, according to an exchange filing in Mumbai.

UBL promoter and liquor baron Vijay Mallya, along with various group companies, owns 32.77 per cent (of which close to half of the stake is pledged with financial institutions) of the company.

Diageo PLC, which owns over 55 per cent of United Spirits, India’s largest liquor company, is believed to have sold its entire share in UBL stake as part of divestment of non-core assets, and also a desire to not be connected as co-promoter of United Breweries Ltd.