Reuters: Tycoon May Sell Brewery Stake to Heineken

From Reuters:

Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, scrambling to raise funds to rescue his ailing Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KING.NS), is considering the sale of all or part of his stake in his flagship beer business to Dutch brewer Heineken NV (HEIN.AS), said people familiar with the situation.

They added that Mallya has the option of selling a stake in United Breweries Ltd (UB) (UBBW.NS) to ease his financial woes, and Heineken would be a keen buyer to gain control of India's biggest brewer and maker of Kingfisher beer.

The Amsterdam-based brewer holds a 37.38 percent stake in UB as a legacy of its takeover of Scottish and Newcastle in 2008. The purchase of 13 percent, valued at $370 million at current market prices, would be enough to take Heineken over the 50 percent mark.

Mallya owns around 19 percent of UB and has held talks with a number of different parties to try and raise cash for his ailing Kingfisher airline. There are no active talks going on at the moment with Heineken, the people said.

"Mallya is clearly looking at all his options and if he did look to sell a stake to give Heineken control of United Breweries then he would find a willing buyer," said one person with knowledge of the situation.


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