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One of the oldest winemakers in India, Shyamrao Chougule family owned Indage Vintners (IVL) is looking at selling a stake in the company, reports Economic Times. This comes two months after the winemaker sold around 3% stake to New Vernon for Rs 2.76 crore.

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Japanese alcoholic beverages major, Asahi Breweries and Valle de Vin promoter Ravi Jain are reported to be in the race for picking a stake in Indage Vintners, according to the report. Another Japanese wine major, Sapporo Breweries, is also said to be in the race for IVL.

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Asahi has been looking at making acquisitions in India for quite sometime now. It  has also held discussions with IVL in the past. The beverage major has been pursuing an active inorganic growth strategy.

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It recently concluded a deal to acquire Cadbury Schweppes’ Australian unit for around $1 billion. Interestingly, Asahi is in a distribution pact for selling imported beers, with Sula Vineyards, which is one of the major rivals of IVL.

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The deal would give the Japanese winemakers, Asahi or Sapporo a significant hold over the Indian wine distribution market.

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Ravi Jain of Valle de Vin, the promoters of the Zampa Wines is also reportedly interested in the acquiring a stake in IVL. He is expected to tie up with a large financial investor for putting in a bid for IVL.  

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It is speculated that the  IVL is looking at raising Rs 300 crore by offloading a substantial stake. The report adds that it is looking at offloading an equal stake with shared management rights. The raised funds will be used to retire debts that have arisen out of its acquisitions in the UK and Australia over the past two years. Indage’s cumulative debt are estimated at around Rs 350 crore.

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Pernod Ricard’s Indian unit and UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya have also been linked with the deal. While Pernod Richard is said to have decided against the deal, Vijay Mallya has denied reports of his interest in buying a stake in IVL.

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The markets have reacted positively to the news.

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