Friday, March 28, 2008

Mallya Wants Heinken's 37.5% Stake

Liquor baron Mallya is open & willing to buy 37.5% of heinken's share in UB. At this point both have equal stakes. Mallya says, "At today's price, I am a buyer".

Heinken get's its stake in UB from Scottish & NewCastle (S&N) after the worldwide takeover of the British brewer. The heinken-carlsberg combined takeover of S&N for $15.4 Bn was announced in jan.

Mr Mallya says Heineken is not yet a shareholder in UB pending global transaction. “My business agreement was with S&N, and Heineken will have to renegotiate a charter of rights. I cannot speculate on the outcome of our discussions,” he added.

Heinken's beer business is a direct conflict with UB's Kingfisher beer. Heinken is also a leading shareholder in Asia Pacific Breweries, makers of Tiger Beer, another competition to Kingfisher. According to a banker S&N's business charter agreement is not transferrable to Heinken, and that's where Mallya's leverage will come from.

report from ET

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