Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Feb 21, 2002
SWC has no plans to offload stake in beer, liquor business
BANGALORE, Feb. 20
SHAW Wallace & Co Ltd (SWC) has no immediate plans to offload equity in beer and liquor businesses to foreign partner.
A SWC spokesperson told Business Line, ``As of now, Shaw Wallace has no plans of offloading equity stake in either beer or spirit business''. However, he added that the company was eying strategic alliances to access global markets.
The statement comes in the wake of market speculation that global brewers were in parleys with the M.R. Chhabria-controlled company.
Mr Chhabria has announced plans to delist the company by hiking his stake. But there is no time-frame set for this.
The move, coupled with the interest evinced by international brewers, prompted the speculation on the company's strategic divestment in its brewing business.
Answering a query, the spokesperson said Shaw Wallace's plans to expand globally were not comparable to that of its arch rival, United Breweries (UB). It may be noted that UB has forged an equity joint venture with the UK brewer, Scottish & Newcastle (S&N).
In fact, UB Group's spirits division may also take a similar course in near future.
Shaw Wallace has restructured its spirits and beer business into two distinct entities Shaw Wallace Distilleries Ltd & Shaw Wallace Breweries Ltd. It is the second largest Indian brewer after UB and holds 25 per cent share of the domestic beer market.
The company's share of the Indian spirits business is pegged at around 20 per cent. Shaw Wallace owns seven breweries and 14 distilleries, apart from several contract arrangements.
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