Should Diageo shareholders switch to United Spirits?

Riken Mehta

After long speculation, Vijay Mallya owned United Spirits , United Breweries Holdings and Diageo finally sealed the deal, which will see Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, acquire a majority stake in United Spirits, which controls half of India’s liquor market. India is the leading guzzler of whiskey and analysts expect it to be USD 10 billion market by 2013.

Also lofty import duties in India would have made life difficult for Diageo to enter the domestic market as a standalone player. United Spirits acquisition will give Diageo a platform to launch all its brands in India.

Both the firms have some of the best brands in the liquor market, excellent distribution networks in India (United Spirits) and abroad (Diageo), so there will definitely be immense synergies from the deal. As seen from the chart, United Spirits has given 2840% return for investors since 2003 compared to Diageo’s 158%.

Here’s a look at the key financials of the two firms. Exchange Rate: 1 GBP = Rs 86.81. Diageo Year end June 2012.
Parameters United Spirits Diageo
Annual Sales FY12
Rs 9186 Cr

Rs 93408 Cr

Net Profit 187 17970
OPM 11.55% 29.30%
NPM 1.98% 19.23%
Cash 363 9011
Market-Cap 17784 390645
Debt 7523 65715
Interest Cost 836 3316
Market Share 59%
CAGR Growth  13%
Sales (Cases) 122 Mn 156.5 Mn
Brands Dalmore, Jura, Whyte & MacKay, Black Dog, Antiquity, Signature, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No.1, Bagpiper, Celebration Rum, Bouvet Ladubay, Pinky, Romanov, White Mischief, Four Seasons Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s, Windsor, Bushmills, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Cîroc, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Guinness

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