United Spirits Ltd is the largest spirits company in the world by volume. The company is engaged in the business of manufacture, purchase and sale of beverage alcohol (spirits and wines), including through tie-up units/ brand franchises. They operate in two geographic segments: India and outside India. The India segment is engaged in the business of manufacture, purchase and sale of beverage alcohol (spirits and wines), including through tie-up units/ brand franchisees within India. The Outside India segment is engaged in the business of manufacture, purchase and sale of beverage alcohol (spirits and wines), including through tie-up units/brand franchisees outside India. The company's products include whisky, brandy and rum. Their brands include Dalmore, Jura, Whyte and Mackay, Black Dog, Signature, Romanov, Antiquity, Royal Challenge, White Mischief, Bouvet Ladubay and Four Seasons.
United Spirits Ltd was incorporated in the year 1999 as McDowell Sprits Ltd. In April 1, 2000, the company name was changed from McDowell Sprits Ltd to McDowell & Company Ltd. In the year 2002, McDowell Alcobev became the wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Also, the company made alliances with US, Australia and French Cos. for bulk wine import. Phipson Distilley became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Also, the company acquired 85% equity stake in Truimph Distilleries & Vinters Pvt Ltd, subsequently, the Truimph Distilleries & Vinters became a subsidiary company. In December 2002, the company acquired the Indian and Middle East businesses of Gilbeys from UDV through their ultimate subsidiary Triumph Distillers & Vintners Pvt Ltd.
During the year, McDowell International Brands Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary consequent upon the transfer of beneficial interests in the balance 60 equity shares of Rs 10 each held by the other shareholders to the company. In the year 2003, the company rolled out their new Whisky brand, 'Derby Special Whisky' in Andhra Pradesh Market. They forged alliance with Newzealand Company called Independent Liquor to pursue an aggressive growth strategy in the ready-to-drink segment. McDowell Alcobev, a subsidiary of the company made open offer to acquire 25% stake in Intertia Industries. The company unleashed new Vodka as part of their product portfolio. In the year 2004, the company launched the Old Cask Rum, in the Karnataka market. Also, they unveiled the 'Signature', a new and costly item in product line at Tamil Nadu market.
During the year 2004-05, the McDowell India Spirits Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company consequent upon the purchase of 50,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each, from the existing shareholders of the company. The company made an open offer to the shareholders of Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd. Pursuant to the open offer, the company acquired 12,001,518 equity shares constituting 25% of the paid up equity share capital of Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd. Also, the investment business of the company was demerged and transferred to McDowell India Spirits Ltd (now know as McDowell Holdings Ltd) with effect from the April 1, 2005.
During the year 2005-06, Phipson Distillery Ltd, United Spirits Ltd, Herbertsons Ltd, Triumph Distillers & Vintners Pvt Ltd, Baramati Grape Industries Ltd, United Distillers India Ltd, McDowell International Brands Ltd and Shaw Wallace Distilleries Ltd were amalgamated with the company with effect from April 1, 2005. In order to expand their Scotch whisky to a larger consumer segment and the middle-income group in particular, the company launched a low-priced variant of their Black Dog Scotch. Also, they introduced McDowell's No.1 Celebration Rum and Antiquity Blue. In March 2006, Primo Distributors Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Distillers India Ltd, became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
During the year 2006-07, the company changed their name from McDowell & Company Ltd to United Spirits Ltd, with effect from October 17, 2006. The company launched their international operations with the acquisition of Bouvet-Ladubay S.A., a 3.2 million-bottle winery in the Saumur Valley in the Loire region of France. In May 2007, the company acquired 100% stake in Whyte & Mackay, a leading distiller of Scotch whisky.
During the year 2007-08, Liquidity Inc, Whyte and Mackay Group Ltd, Whyte and Mackay Ltd, Whyte and Mackay Warehousing Ltd, Bruce & Company (Leith) Ltd, Charles Mackinlay & Company Ltd, Dalmore Distillers Ltd, Dalmore Whyte & Mackay Ltd, Edinburgh Scotch Whisky Company Ltd, Ewen & Company Ltd; Fettercairn Distillery Ltd, Findlater Scotch Whisky Ltd, Glayva Liqueur Ltd, Glentalla Ltd, GPS Realisations Ltd, Grey Rogers & Company Ltd, Hay & MacLeod Ltd, Invergordon Distillers (Holdings) Ltd, Invergordon Gin Ltd, Isle of Jura Distillery Company Ltd, Jarvis Halliday & Company Ltd, John E McPherson & Sons Ltd, KI Trustees Ltd, Kensington Distillers Ltd, Kyndal Spirits Ltd, Leith Distillers Ltd, Loch Glass Distilling Company Ltd, Longman Distillers Ltd, Lycidas (437) Ltd, Pentland Bonding Company Ltd, Ronald Morrison & Company Ltd, St. Vincent Street (437) Ltd, Tamnavulin-Glenlivet Distillery Company Ltd, TDL Realisations Ltd, Invergordon Distillers Group Ltd, Invergordon Distillers Ltd, The Sheep Dip Whisky Company Ltd, W & S Strong Ltd, Watson & Middleton Ltd, Wauchope Moodie & Company Ltd, Whyte and Mackay de Venezuela CA, Whyte & Mackay Distillers Ltd, Whyte and Mackay Holdings Ltd, Whyte and Mackay Property Ltd, William Muir Ltd, WMB Realisations Ltd, McDowell & Company Ltd, Jasmine Flavours & Fragrances Pvt Ltd and Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd became the subsidiaries of the company.
During the year 2008-09, United Spirits (Shangai) Trading Company Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. In March 2009, as per the scheme of amalgamation, Zelinka Ltd was amalgamated with the company with effect from April 1, 2007. Consequent upon the amalgamation of Zelinka Ltd with the company, Palmer Investment Group Ltd and Montrose International S.A. became direct wholly owned subsidiaries of the company and Liquidity Inc. became a direct subsidiary of the company.
In June 2009, as per the scheme of amalgamation, Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd and Primo Distributors Pvt Ltd were amalgamated with the company with effect from April 1, 2007. Consequent upon the amalgamation of Shaw Wallace & Company Ltd, Shaw Wallace Breweries Ltd became a direct subsidiary of the company.
During the year 2009-10, Tern Distilleries Pvt Ltd having a unit for manufacture of Extra Neutral Alcohol in Andhra Pradesh, became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company consequent upon the acquisition of their entire paid-up share capital by the company. Consequent to allotment of equity shares to another investor and to the company, Four Seasons Wines Ltd ceased to be a wholly owned subsidiary but continues to be a subsidiary of the company.
During the year 2010-11, as per the scheme of arrangement, all the assets and liabilities of Balaji Distilleries Ltd, other than Brewery Division Undertaking, as a going concern stood transferred to and vested in the Company with effect from April 1, 2009. The company acquired 61.53% of the paid up capital of Sovereign Distilleries Ltd (SDL). Consequently, SDL became a subsidiary of the company. Also, the company proposes to acquire 100% of the paid up capital of SDL.
During the year, the company acquired 7,322,280 equity shares constituting 54.69% of the paid up capital of Pioneer Distilleries Ltd (PDL). Further, 977,212 Equity shares, constituting 7.30% and 2,677,640 equity shares, constituting 20.00% of the paid up capital of PDL were acquired from the open market, thereby acquiring a total of 10,977,132 equity shares, aggregating to 81.99% of the paid up capital of PDL. Consequently, PDL became a subsidiary of the company.
During the year, Herbertsons Ltd and Spring Valley Investments Holding Inc, ceased to be subsidiaries of the company consequent to the sale of shares and liquidation respectively. Chennai Breweries Pvt Ltd (CBPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Balaji Distilleries Ltd (BDL) became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company consequent to amalgamation of BDL with the company. In November 2011, Chennai Breweries Private Litd was amalgamated with United Breweries Ltd with effect from November 12, 2012.