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UB firm to buy three Polychem brands

29-May-2004
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UB firm to buy three Polychem brands

Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s acquisition spree continues. Triumph Distillers & Vintners, a UB group company, is set to acquire three spirit brands —Alcazar vodka, Men’s Club range (whisky, rum, brandy, gin) and Louis XI brandy, from the Kilachand-promoted Polychem. Currently, Triumph is producing, marketing and distributing these brands.

Deepak Roy, president and managing director, Triumph Distillers & Vintners, said, “We are in talks to acquire the three brands from Polychem. The acquisition makes sense as we have been investing towards brand building and we see future value in these brands.”

Alcazar has a national presence, while the other two brands are regional. The three brands have combined sales of over 2 lakh cases.

Though Roy refused to divulge the size of the deal, he said the deal will be clinched in the next few weeks.

Parthiv Kilachand, director, Polychem said,”We are looking at selling these brands as we are keen on exiting the liquor business.”

The three brands up for sale, were earlier manufactured and marketed by United Distillers & Vintners India, owners of Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff. Kilachand was the erstwhile joint venture partner of UDV India, where Roy was heading the company.

Post divestment of UDV’s mass-market whisky business under Gilbey’s, the three brands were then transferred to Triumph Distillers & Vintners.

McDowell & Co holds 85 per cent equity in Triumph through its 100 per cent subsidiary Phipson Distillery, while the balance 15 per cent is held by Roy.

Triumph, with its brands Gilbey’s Green Label whisky, Gilbey’s White whisky, Gilbey’s Old Gold Whisky, has a turnover of 2.8 million cases. Its flagship brand, Gilbey’s Green Label whisky, sells 2.45 million cases.

Triumph also has a marketing and distribution tie-up with international beverage companies for ready-to-drink and energy drinks brands.

It has an alliance with the Australia-based South State Food & Beverages, part of Lionel Nethan for selling ready-to-drink brands Tequila Slamma, DNA Alcoholic spring water, Q Vodka Orange and Q vodka wildberry.

It also has a tie-up with the Denmark-based Cult Export to sell the Cult energy drink brand.

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