Whyte & Mackay deal close

January 17, 2007

UNITED SPIRITS, part of Vijay Mallya’s Bangalore-based United Breweries Group, is poised to wrap up a £500m takeover of the distillers Whyte & Mackay.

Advisers from the two companies are due to meet tomorrow to thrash out the details of the transaction, with Citigroup advising Whyte & Mackay and UBS advising United Spirits.

Staff at the Glasgow-based spirits group — whose brands include Whyte & Mackay blended Scotch whisky, Dalmore single malt whisky and Vladivar vodka — have been told to expect a new owner by the end of the month.

It is understood Mallya, whose company already has a strategic alliance with the Edinburgh-based Scottish & Newcastle — will retain the services of the W&M group managing director, Bob Brannan.

In November Mallya’s £475m offer for Whyte & Mackay was rejected as too low by South African-born Vivien Imerman and his brother-in-law Robert Tchenguiz, who have co-owned Whyte & Mackay since 2005.

A £500m price tag would represent a handsome return for the two men.

Article Courtesy of The Times

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