Diageo expects decision on United Spirits deal by end of first quarter

Whiskey

UK branded premium alcoholic beverages group Diageo Plc (LON:DGE; NYSE:DEO) anticipates that Indian regulators will give their response to its planned deal for Indian sector player United Spirits Limited (BOM:532432), or USL, by the end of this quarter, Reuters cited today Diageo’s CFO as saying.

The INR111.7bn (USD2.1bn/EUR1.6bn) transaction agreed last November, will give Diageo a total stake of 53.4% in USL.

At the time, Diageo said it expected to wrap up the deal in the first quarter of this year, pending clearance from regulators.

The British group, which aims to build up its presence in the world’s fastest growing markets, has said it would use existing cash and debt to cover the price.

The acquisition of USL will allow Diageo to grow in the expanding consumer segment in India, while ensuring USL’s top position in the local spirits sector, the buyer has said.

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