May 18, 2020 / 8:51 AM / in 19 days

Diageo exploring options to delist Indian arm - CNBC TV-18

May 18 (Reuters) - Diageo Plc, the world's largest spirits maker, is exploring options to delist its Indian arm, United Spirits Ltd, by buying out minority shareholders, CNBC TV-18 reported on Monday.

Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker whiskey and Tanqueray Gin, currently owns an about 56% stake in United Spirits after slowly building it up over several years.

The company has started talks with investment bankers and consultants on a delisting offer, the CNBC TV-18 report here said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

"The management believes that the current market conditions and the pricing of USL is conducive to a delisting and that's why they are exploring this option," the CNBC report said, citing a senior executive at the company who did not want to be named.

Diageo India did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company's move comes nearly a week after miner Vedanta Resources Ltd said it was delisting its Indian unit Vedanta Ltd , as it seeks to accelerate the simplification of its corporate structure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of United Spirits were trading flat at 0825 GMT on India's National Stock Exchange.

UK-based Diageo's shares were up 1.8% at 2,792 pence on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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