India’s largest liquor company United Spirits Ltd (USL) has agreed to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary Four Seasons Wines Ltd and associated brands to Grover Zampa Vineyards Ltd, the country’s second-largest winemaker in terms of volumes. The shares will be sold to Grover Zampa and Quintela Assets Ltd, an existing investor in Grover Zampa, for Rs 31.86 crore.
Ever since British distiller Diageo Plc took over the reins at USL, the company has focused on premiumising its portfolio and growing its core spirits brands. The Four Seasons divestment is a part of its strategy to monetise non-core assets, USL said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This deal brings us a step closer to the structural rationalisation and simplification of our India business. The (Four Seasons) wine business is a niche, but a small part of the overall Diageo India portfolio and the sale will enable us to focus on our premiumisation strategy and grow our core spirits business in India,” Sanjeev Churiwala, executive director and chief financial officer of USL-Diageo, said in the statement.
USL expects the share sale agreement to be completed on 16 January. Following the completion, USL will not hold any shares in Four Seasons and the latter will cease to be its subsidiary.
Grover Zampa is also set to buy Hindustan Construction Company’s Charosa brand, the Times of India reported last week citing people in the know. It would be the third wine brand Grover Zampa is set to acquire this month, along with Four Seasons and Bengaluru-based Myra vineyards. The winemaker is consolidating its position in a market that is dominated by Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd, India’s no. 1 wine company.
This article was first published on livemint.com