Boby Kurian

Bangalore, March 23

THE UB Group today said it will pay roughly Rs 15 crore to buy out the minority stakeholder, Mr Deepak Roy, in Triumph Distillers & Vintners Ltd (TDV). Mr Roy, who is Managing Director and President of the company, holds 15 per cent stake, while the remaining shares are already with UB.

"We are closing the transaction, and Mr Roy will be paid a ballpark figure of Rs 15 crore," a top UB official told Business Line. Mr Roy, a liquor industry veteran, will remain with the UB Group assisting its Chairman, Mr Vijay Mallya, in a key role, which is still not specified.

Mr Roy, a former head of United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) India Ltd, part of Diageo Plc, floated TDV to effect a management acquisition of the multinational's Indian made foreign liquor assets, which was put on the block three years back.

TDV owns brands such as Gilbey's Green Label Whisky and Alcazar Vodka and has annual sales close to three million cases. The company will become part of Mr Mallya's consolidation plans for his spirits business, and along with McDowell & Co, Herbertsons and Shaw Wallace will come under the banner of United Spirits Ltd, which will emerge as the world's second largest spirits marketer.

As Mr Mallya consolidates his spirits companies, he is also likely to effect a significant management reshuffle in the coming days, sources said. The top brass of UB spirits business comprises of many key names in the liquor industry, some of who have been loyalists for over three decades. "Mr Mallya has with him some of the best resources in the domestic liquor industry, and it will interesting how he accommodates them as four companies now merge into one," sources added.

The top management of Mr Mallya's spirits business has seen a fair degree of stability with the last major reshuffle effected almost 10 years ago .

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 24, 2005)
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