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Rediff.com  » Business » Radico Khaitan eyes UB brands

Radico Khaitan eyes UB brands

October 17, 2005 10:38 IST
Radico Khaitan, India's second largest liquor company, is in preliminary talks to acquire some brands of the UB group.

Radico Khaitan chairman and managing director Lalit Khaitan did not wish to comment on this. "The company is in talks with some firms on a regular basis. But we cannot comment before we firm up any deal," he said, adding the company was keen to expand through organic and inorganic growth.

Radico had recently invested Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) for acquiring the Brihan brands.

It was open to similar investments as when required, Khaitan added. The company has plans to invest another Rs 85 crore (Rs 850 million) over the next two years.

Sources in the UB group said talks were on but the firm was yet to take a decision as the company board had not yet finalised the business model for its brand divestment.

UB group chairman Vijay Mallya had made it public that the company would rationalise some brands.

He also said the company would downsize its brand portfolio from 140 to 40-45. McDowell's No1, Director's Special, Royal Challenge and Haywards are some of the well known brands of the UB group.

Established in 1943, Radico Khaitan (formerly, Rampur Distillery), is one of India's oldest and largest liquor makers. However, it launched its own brands only in 1999. Since then, it has been witnessing a phenomenal growth.

Radico Khaitan now has three "millionaire" brands in its portfolio. Radico's flagship whisky brand 8 PM, launched in 1999, sold one million cases in the year of its launch.

The other "millionaire" brands of Radico are Contessa, and Old Admiral brandy. Last year, the company had sold 3.3 million cases of 8 PM.

Drinks International, the acclaimed international liquor magazine, had rated 8 PM last year as the fastest growing whisky brand in the world in the regional category.

Brand Band

  • Radico had recently invested Rs 35 crore for acquiring the Brihan brands.
  • Sources say talks are on but the firm is yet to take a decision as the company board had not yet finalised the business model for its brand divestment.
  • UB group chairman Vijay Mallya had made it public that the company would rationalise some brands.
C H Unnikrishnan in Mumbai
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