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Sep 04, 2012, 09.06 AM IST
UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya is leaving no stones unturned in order to save his beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines. Sources tell CNBC-TV18 that the UB Group is likely to offload up to 48% stake in its flagship brand Whyte & Mackay (W&M).
This comes in even as UK-based liquor company Diageo is expected to pick up close to 27% stake in Mallya's United Spirits (USL) for around Rs 3,000 crore.
As per reports by Firstpost, "Kingfisher's debt and accumulated losses are higher than the most valued company in the Mallya stable United Spirits, with a value of over Rs 11,000 crore. But Mallya owns only 28% of this company. Selling it would not bring him even half the money he needs to save Kingfisher."
Sources say that UB Group is talks with private equity players to offload stake in W&M. The prominent among them are Silver Lake, Carlyle and LDC, which is the PE arm of Lloyds Bank.
CNBC-TV18 had reported earlier that the UK official of fair trade had raised concerns over the Diageo-United Spirits deal as the regulator is concerned about Diageo’s indirect holding in Whyte & Mackay (W&M). Since Diageo and USL have a large market share in the scotch and vodka segment, the regulator fears the deal will lead to monopoly for the former.
The W&M sale is likely to avert competition issues in USL-Diageo deal. Furthermore, UB will explore fund raising options if the sale not successful. USL has a debt of Rs 1,026 crore on account of W&M acquisition.
UB Group has refused to comment on a CNBC-TV18 query.
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