Heineken buys stake in United Breweries from market, becomes largest shareholder

Dutch liquor major Heineken International BV picked up 1.35 per cent more stake in Vijay Mallya's United Breweries Ltd from the markets, making it the largest shareholder in the company. Heineken picked up the shares for Rs 275 crore on Tuesday, raising the stake to 38.77 per cent.

Before the transaction, both Heineken and UB Holdings held 37.41 per cent each in United Breweries. The two are classified as co-promoters of the company.

Heineken, the third-largest brewer in the world after Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, picked up little over 3.55 million shares for Rs 772.9 per unit. The shares were purchased from Citicorp Finance (India), to which UB Group promoters had reportedly pledged the shares.

Scrip of United Breweries was up 2.16 per cent at Rs 793 on Wednesday at 11:16 am, giving the company a market capitalisation of Rs 20,966.92 crore.

Last month, world's largest spirits maker Diageo Plc had increased its stake in another UB Group firm, United Spirits, through market purchases.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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