Diageo’s stake raises to 55.9% in United Spirits

Diageo first acquired a controlling stake in USL in 2014 to cash in the world's biggest whiskey market where USL is by far the market leader.
  • Nusra Deputy Features Editor
Diageo

British multinational alcoholic beverages companyDiageo has bought shares worth about Rs 352 crore or 0.7 per cent in United Spirits.

With this its total stake in India's largest liquor firm raises to 55.9 percent.

The maker of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff purchased 50.75 lakh shares at Rs 693.25 per share on the National Stock Exchange.

"India remains one of the most exciting growth markets in the world for total beverage alcohol. This transaction forms part of Diageo’s long-term strategy of premiumisation within the market," read a Diageo statement.

Diageo first acquired a controlling stake in USL in 2014 to cash in the world's biggest whiskey market where USL is by far the market leader.

USL has more than 100 brands such as McDowell whiskey but has been increasing pushing premium products such as Johnnie Walker and Black & White. Since the British spirits giant acquired USL more than five years ago, premium segment sales has gone up from around 45 per cent-50 per cent in 2014 to over two-thirds to its overall sales now.

Diageo's overall net sales in India grew 2 per cent but prestige and above segment, where it competes with the French rival Pernod Ricard, went up 5.1 per cent during quarter ended December.

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