Once known as India’s liquor tycoon, Vijay Mallya ’s stake in United Spirits Limited (USL) — India’s largest spirits company and the maker of McDowell’s No.1— has dwindled to a paltry 3.72 percent. And close to 50 percent of that stake, valued at Rs 1,300 crore, is pledged.
The latest company shareholding data furnished by USL to the Indian bourses, shows that Mallya through various personal and public investment entities owns around 54,07,083 shares in the company. Of that 26,91,570 shares are encumbered.
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Mallya had inherited USL after the death of his father, the late Vittal Mallya, in the early 1980s. In 2012-13, Mallya sold controlling stake in the company to British drinks giant Diageo Plc.
Post the sale, Mallya continued to hold a little over 11 percent stake in USL. Since then, though his stake in the spirits manufacturer has dwindled considerably, many financial institutions and banks sold the company shares that Mallya had pledged to them. The encumbered shares were a result of Mallya having to shore up finances to run his loss making Kingfisher Airlines, which is now defunct.
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On the other hand, at India’s largest beer manufacturer United Breweries Ltd — another inherited company — Mallya’s shareholding is about 31 percent and is valued at about Rs 6,300 crore. Here too, about 48 percent of his shareholding has been pledged.
Interestingly, Mallya is talking of a Rs 4,000 crore settlement package towards his Rs 9,000 crore worth of dues to public sector banks. The debt is related to his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines.