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Mallya to bid for New Zealand liquor co

Source: PTI
August 29, 2006 18:12 IST
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Continuing with his acquisition juggernaut on foreign shores, liquor baron Vijay Mallya of United Breweries Group has now set his sights on New Zealand based company Independent Liquor Ltd.

World's third largest distiller, UB Group is evaluating a possible takeover bid for Independent Liquor, a leading alcoholic beverage maker in Australia-New Zealand region and estimated to be valued between $650-725 million.

"Currently, we are in the process of evaluating the firm. Independent Liquor has plans to sell the company. We may make a bid once the valuation process is completed," a top UB group official told PTI.

Independent Liquor has appointed investment banking firm UBS New Zealand Limited to evaluate the company and potential bids for it.

"Following the assessment, the shareholders are now commencing a process for the potential sale of Independent Liquor," UBS said in an e-mail reply to PTI.  The process is expected to take up to four months, it added.

A possible bid for Independent Liquor is believed to be part of Indian liquor major UB group's plans to strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific.

Interested parties are currently being invited to make submissions on their potential involvement in the sale of Independent Liquor and based upon a review of those submissions, a number of groups would be invited to participate in the sale process, UBS said.

Independent Liquor's brands include Woodstock, Vodka Cruiser, Cody's, KGB and Pulse. It also distributes a range of premium beer brands across Australia and New Zealand including Carlsberg, Tuborg and Grolsch.

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