The deal is still awaiting Competition Commission approval

Global liquor giant Diageo plc has got the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI’s) clearance for an open offer to acquire 26 per cent stake from public shareholders of United Spirits, a UB group firm.

As part of the deal for purchase of 53.4 per cent stake in Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits, Diageo has made a Rs.5,441 crore open offer for purchase of 26 per cent stake in the company from non-promoter shareholders.

The open offer, which was made about three months ago soon after the deal announcement on November 9, has been now cleared by SEBI after numerous clarifications sought by the regulator, and the subsequent representations made to it in this regard.

The deal is, however, still awaiting a green signal from fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India, although the party’s concerned (Diageo and UB group firms) have submitted certain clarifications sought from them.

SEBI issued its final observations on the open offer, which are necessary for the offer and the deal as a whole to go through, on January 31, 2013 and the same have been communicated to Diageo, United Spirits and the merchant banker JM Financial, a senior official said.

As part of the deal, Diageo would acquire 27.4 per cent stake for Rs.5, 725.4 crore through a combination of share purchase from existing promoters and preferential allotment of shares.

In addition, it had offered to acquire an additional 26 per cent stake for Rs.5, 441.07 crore through an open offer for public shareholders.

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