United Spirits sells treasury stock in two block deals to raise Rs11 billion
Shares of United Spirits Ltd (USL) slipped by 4.18% to Rs879 in early noon trades Tuesday after nearly 12.4 million shares representing about 12.4% equity changed hands in two transactions on the exchanges. United Spirits raised nearly Rs11 billion selling treasury stock, the deal was done with an aim to de-leverage its balance sheet.

Earlier, the company, in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange said Shaw Wallace & Co which holds 10.27% stake in USL intends its all shares due to corporate considerations.

In 2005, Vijay Mallya-led United Breweries bought Shaw Wallace & Co, which was merged with the group's flagship company USL last year.

Mallya was trying to sell about 18.6 million treasury shares, valued at about Rs17 billion to UK-based Diageo, since late last year. However, the deal seems to be stuck over issues like pricing and management control.

The two block deals in which USL sold its treasury shares, first block saw about 5.26 million shares been sold at an average price of Rs900 per share and the second block saw around 7.2 million shares sold at an average price of Rs882 per share.

According to media reports Reliance Mutual Fund has picked up shares worth Rs1 billion from the blocks in the open market.

United Spirits has an outstanding debt of Rs75 billion, including Rs15 billion towards working capital and Rs55 billion for the Whyte & Mackay (W&M) acquisition, at the year to end-March.

The repayment of debt for W&M is scheduled to begin this year. In May, USL repaid a first tranche of $45 million while it will have to repay the second tranche, of $45 million, by the end-March next year, with about $20 million also due for repayment.

The company was planning to raise another $200 to $250 million via qualified institutional placements (QIP) route, added reports. United Spirits has over 150 products in its portfolio including brands Black Dog, Signature, Royal Challenge and Romanov. -Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]

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Tata Motors chooses first 100,000 owners of Nano; deliveries to begin in July
Tata Motors Ltd said it has completed the process to select the first 100,000 owners of the Tata Nano through a computerised random selection process from among the 206,703 final applicants who had booked the car. The company said the process would be completed within 60 days of the closure of booking on 25th April.

Deliveries will begin from July and the first 100,000 deliveries are expected to be completed by the last quarter of 2010, the company said. Tata Motors also reconfirmed that the first 100,000 owners are price-protected, and will get their Tata Nano at the ex-showroom prices.

Tata Motors, the country’s largest vehicles maker also said it is making all efforts to deliver the Nano earlier than schedule by ramping up production at the already operational Pantnagar plant and the fast upcoming Sanand plant.

The booking process had also given the option to applicants to indicate whether they would like to retain their booking amounts with the company, even if they do not get selected among the first 100,000 allottees, and await delivery of their cars after them.

The company said 137,867 or about 67% applicants had chosen this option, from which a further 55,021 retainees have been made allotments. The booking amounts of the unsuccessful applicants, who had not exercised this option, would be returned, it added.

Tata Motors said although it will inform all the applicants about their current status, the applicant can also check it on the company website www.tatanano.com , using their booking application number or calling Tata Motors call center on 020-66495678.

The deliveries to the 55,021 retainees will begin after the first 100,000 deliveries. The retainees will also benefit from an interest of 8.5% on their booking amount if the car is delivered within two years from the date of allotment (23rd June 2009) and 8.75% if the car is delivered after two years from the date of allotment, it added.

Tata Motors, along with the confirmatory letter, is also making an offer to retainees on its Indica range over and above any current scheme on these cars in the market, in addition to discount vouchers of Titan and Westside which can be used at any outlet of these companies across India. Unsuccessful applicants will also be given the same offer, the company said.

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