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UB Group to hike stake in MCFL; to buy shares from Zuari

UBClose on the heels of end of takeover battle for MCFL, Vijay Mallya-led UB Group plans to hike its shareholding in the fertiliser firm by acquiring shares from Zuari Group which now holds over 53 percent stake.

UB Group, the original promoter of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL), along with Zuari Group has successfully staved off a takeover bid by rival Deepak Fertilisers.

Amid the takeover battle, Saroj Poddar-led Zuari Group increased its stake in MCFL to little over 53 percent while UB Group holds nearly 22 percent.

Now, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd (UBHL) has decided to exercise its option whereby both the company and Zuari Group would have equal stakes in MCFL.

As per the shareholding pattern on the BSE, both Zuari Group and UB Group are in the list of promoters. Together, they have 75 percent stake in MCFL.

While announcing the financial results of UBHL, company chairman Vijay Mallya disclosed that its board would look at exercising the option of having equal stake with Zuari Group in MCFL.

“… In terms of an agreement entered into between the UB group with the acquirer (Zuari Fertilizers and Chemicals), the UB group has an option to purchase such number of shares from the acquirer so as to equalise the respective shareholdings of both UB group and Zuari group,” Mallya wrote in the ‘notes to the accounts’ of UBHL.

According to him, the UBHL board has resolved exercise this option in due course.

These details were disclosed while UBHL announced its results for the year ended March 31, 2015.

According to sources, Zuari Group Chairman Saroj Poddar is likely to meet Mallya in the next few days. Earlier, Poddar had said he was looking forward to work with Mallya.

Earlier this month, Zuari Group had succeeded in acquiring an additional 36.56 percent stake in MCFL, becoming a majority shareholder.

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