The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to sell a large portion of unpledged shares owned by Vijay Mallya in United Breweries. The shares which constitute about 15.2% stake are expected to fetch around Rs. 4000 crores. Vijay Mallya owns 29.6% in UBL with 45.17% of his stake pledged with lenders. Dutch brewers, Heineken, is which owns 43% of the shares in UBL is keen to increase its stake further.
The Economic Times reports one official close to UB as saying, “Heineken can go through the only possible route to strengthen its holding in UBL by offering the best market price. Given the situation, Mallya himself may not want any business interests in a country where he runs the risk of getting arrested. Then there is this complicated shareholder agreement between Mallya and Heineken in UB.”
The shares were transferred by the Stock Holding Corporation of India to the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The 4000 crores expected to be recovered from the shares amount to almost half of the money owed by Mallya to lenders.
Vijay Mallya is accused of fraud and money laundering amounting to Rs. 9,000 crores and had fled India to avoid prosecution. India is currently pursuing his extradition from the United Kingdom and a case is currently ongoing in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.