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Vijay Mallya’s stake in United Spirits Ltd (USPL) has declined marginally as lenders have invoked pledged shares, according to a company filing with the stock exchanges on Tuesday. The development comes close on the heels of a setback to the group’s stake sale to Diageo last month.
The group’s holding company, United Breweries Holdings (UBHL), reported that its shareholding in USL has declined by 0.21% on account of the invocation of 3 lakh pledged shares by lenders on December 24.
With this, UBHL’s shareholding in the liquor company now stands at 6.77%, most of which is encumbered.
The invocation of pledged shares also means that the UB Group’s total promoter stake in USL has declined from 11.13% at the end of the September quarter to 10.91% at present. UBHL, which is the group’s holding company, and its subsidiary Kingfisher Finvest, together hold the bulk of Mallya’s stake in the liquor company.
Over the past year, the group’s stake has seen a decline largely on account of the sale of shares by a consortium of banks that had lent to Kingfisher Airlines.
The State Bank of India-led consortium had sold 26 lakh shares, which they held as collateral in the open market in April 2013, to recover part of its dues, and UBHL has challenged the sale in the Bombay High Court.
In July, UBHL had sold 6.97% stake to Diageo as part of a share purchase agreement, but the transaction was annulled last month by the Karnataka High Court while hearing a winding-up petition. Both UBHL and Diageo have said that they intend to appeal against the order annulling the sale. Over the past year, Diageo has acquired a 26.37% stake in USL.
A clutch of creditors, including the SBI consortium and the lessors of the grounded carrier, have filed winding-up petitions against UBHL in the Karnataka High court.