Up against a regulatory hurdle in the U.K. over the $2-billion takeover by global liquor giant Diageo, United Spirits’ board, on Thursday, approved a plan to sell Whyte & Mackay Ltd (W&M), an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. “The board proposes to initiate a process, based on the outline timetable provided under the U.K. law in connection with the decision of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), to explore a potential sale of W&M,” United Spirits Ltd (USL) said in a filing to the BSE.
“The board has nominated certain persons to oversee the process and consider, examine and evaluate possibilities and structures in relation to a potential sale, appoint necessary advisors in this regard and identify potential purchasers,” it added.
The board will, after completion of the process, consider and decide upon any sale, the filing said.
In November last, the U.K.’s fair trade watchdog found the Diageo’s deal to take over United Spirits to be anti-competitive, forcing the company to offer selling bulk of Whyte & Mackay business. The OFT had stated that the merger might lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the supply of blended whisky to retailers.