HC nullifies sale of USL shares to Diageo

HC nullifies sale of USL shares to Diageo

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday held “null and void,” the sale of 6.9 pc stake in United Spirits Limited (USL) by United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) to Diageo, a UK-based drinks giant.

The Division Bench comprising Justices N Kumar and Rathnakala said the deal is void until a conclusion is reached on the winding up petitions against UBHL.

The High Court had dismissed an appeal filed by UBHL against the winding up petition by BNP Paribas for “lack of merits” on December 16. BNP Paribas, a creditor for UBHL, had filed a batch of petitions in the High Court seeking its winding up as the holding company was unable to repay its debts.

Necessary steps

Reacting to the High Court order, UB Group Chairperson Vijay Mallya said: “We will take all necessary steps to protect Diageo’s interests as well as our own.”

The United Breweries Holdings Limited in a statement said they were yet to study the judgement which runs into more than 150 pages, and the obvious option is to prefer an appeal before the Supreme Court.

Diageo, in its statement said that the company had been brought into private dispute between Kingfisher Airlines and its creditors. 

“We confirm that we intend to appeal the matter further,” it said.

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