Diageo's open offer for United Spirits shares delayed: source

Mon Jan 7, 2013 6:37pm IST

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(Reuters) - Diageo Plc's (DGE.L) mandatory share tender offer to buy up to 26 percent additional stake in India's United Spirits (UNSP.NS) has been postponed as the companies are yet to receive Indian regulatory approvals, a source with direct knowledge said.

Diageo in November agreed to buy a majority stake in United Spirits Ltd, controlled by Indian 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 a two-tranche deal that will give Diageo a 53.4 percent stake in India's largest spirits company, was set to start on Monday and close on January 18.

A new timeline for the open offer will be announced after the deal receives approval from the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Competition Commission of India, said the source on Monday.

The source declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to the media. United Spirits declined to comment on the open offer, while Diageo did not immediately respond to request for comment.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in MUMBAI; Additional reporting by Anurag Kotoky in NEW DELHI and Anjuli Davies in LONDON; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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