Diageo says will not raise United Spirits offer price

Open offer to be held from April 10-26

Diageo says will not raise United Spirits offer price

British liquor giant Diageo Plc which had announced in February this year that it would raise its stake in Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits Ltd (USL), said on Friday that it would not raise its price to acquire upto 26 per cent stake in the Bangalore-based liquor group via a mandatory open offer.

The open offer is slated to be launched from April 10 to 26. Diageo said that it is sticking to its earlier offer price of Rs 1,440 per share made in November last year, in keeping with SEBI regulations and provisions for delays in carrying out the offer. The company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange that the offer price would be paid together with interest computed at the rate of 10 per cent per annum as stipulated by SEBI on the offer price from March 19, 2013.

The company said that the Letter of Offer dated March 28, 2013 has been dispatched to all shareholders who are eligible to tender their equity shares in the offer and whose names appear on the register of members of the target company as of the Identified date being March 25, 2013. The acquisition is proposed to be funded through existing cash resources as well as debt.

The USL share which surged to a 52-week high of Rs 2,149 a share in the months following the announcement, fell 3.75 per cent to close down 68 points to Rs 1,755.50 on the BSE on Friday. The company’s market capitalisation currently stands at Rs 22,961 crore with the stock’s earnings per share at Rs 21.01 and a consolidated price-to-earnings ratio of 66.45.

Diageo, United Breweries (Holdings) Limited (UBHL) and USL had agreed in November last year that Diageo would acquire a 27.4 per cent stake in USL, for a consideration of 5,725 crore. An additional stake of at least 26 per cent was planned through an open offer triggered under SEBI rules, taking Diageo’s eventual shareholding in United Spirits to 53.4 per cent for a total consideration of Rs 11,167 crore.

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