Diageo to launch United Spirits tender offer on Jan 7

NEW DELHI Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:18pm IST

A worker looks at a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky at the Diageo owned Shieldhall bottling plant in Glasgow, Scotland March 24, 2011. REUTERS/David Moir/Files

A worker looks at a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky at the Diageo owned Shieldhall bottling plant in Glasgow, Scotland March 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David Moir/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Diageo Plc (DGE.L) will launch a mandatory share tender offer to buy up to 26 percent additional stake in United Spirits Ltd (UNSP.NS) from public shareholders on January 7, the manager to the offer said in a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Earlier this month, Diageo agreed to buy a majority stake in United Spirits, controlled by businessman Vijay Mallya, for $2.1 billion, fuelling a push by the world's biggest spirits group into fast-growing markets.

The tender offer, which is part of the two-tranche deal that will give Diageo a 53.4 percent stake in India's largest spirits company, will close on January 18, JM Financial said in a notice to the exchange on Tuesday.

Shares in United Spirits ended up 0.6 percent at 1,762 rupees, higher than Diageo's offer of 1,440 rupees a share to minority shareholders. The sharp jump in the stock has clouded the outcome of the tendering process, analysts said.

United Spirits shares have risen more than 30 percent since the announcement of the deal on November 9.

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky; Editing by Anand Basu)

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