Also figure among world top 100 brands

K Giriprakash

Bangalore, May 31

UB Group's top five liquor brands, which sell as much as 32 million cases every year, have been valued at a whopping $1.8 billion.

These five brands also find a place among the top 100 liquor brands in the world, according to Impact International, a UK-based publication, which ranks liquor brands based on their retail value.

Consider this: While Bagpiper, the largest selling whisky has been valued at $540 million, UB Group paid out a far lesser amount which is around $354 million for acquiring the entire liquor business of Shaw Wallace last year. If one were to include the value of Celebration Rum, which sells the least among the five as per the rankings, the UB Group would have outbid every other competitor for buying Taittinger, one of the leading Champagne makers in the world, for which the group withdrew its offer early this week.

Impact International in its latest rankings said these five brands account for 5.1 per cent of the top 100 brands worldwide by volumes. "The rankings indicate that our brands are not only some of the most popular brands in the world but are also highly valued," the UB Group's Spirits Business President, Mr Vijay K. Rekhi, told

Business Line

.

Impact said Bagpiper valued at $540 million sells 10.5 million cases every year while McDowell's No 1 whisky sells 6.1 million cases and has been valued at $455 million. McDowell's No 1 whisky is also considered the fastest moving product.

The third among the top five which used to be part of the Shaw Wallace stable earlier is Director's Special. It sells 4.3 million cases every year and has been valued at $310 million.

The fourth is McDowell's No 1 brandy, the largest selling brandy in the world. It sells 5.3 million cases every year and has been valued at $270 million. The last is Celebration Rum which sells 5.4 million cases and is valued at $245 million.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 1, 2006)
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