E-Malt.com News article: India & UK: VIJAYMallya takeover of Whyte & Mackay uncertain
VIJAYMallya, the Indian brewing tycoon, has warned that there is no certainty he will complete the purchase of Glasgow-based distiller Whyte & Mackay, as takeover talks drag on, The Herald Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge reported February 12.
Reports in mid-January suggested that Mallya, who owns United Breweries, has won support for his takeover bid from Whyte & Mackay's owners after he agreed to increase his offer for the firm from GBP475m to GBP500m. It emerged yesterday, however, that the two parties are still some distance from a deal.
"Talks continue and progress - albeit slow - is being made, "Mallya told The Herald yesterday. ”However, it would be incorrect of me to predict the outcome."
Whyte’s executive chairman and majority shareholder, Vivian Imerman, confirmed in November that Whyte & Mackay was in continued talks with Mallya. He said at that time that other buyers were also in the frame and it was stated that Citibank, Standard Chartered and ICICI Bank are ready to fund an acquisition.
In addition to the eponymous grain whisky, Whyte & Mackay's brands include the Jura and Dalmore malts and Vladivar vodka. Imerman is said to value the company at GBP600m.
Whyte & Mackay employs more than 600 people at sites around the UK. Observers have said that Mallya believes that buying Whyte's wide distribution network will help him sell his own Indian-made whiskies and rums throughout the European Union.
A deal at the reported prices being discussed would provide a lucrative pay-day forWhyte & Mackay's owners, including Imerman.
They bought Whyte & Mackay from Fortune Brands of the US for GBP208m in 2001.
14 February, 2007