Whyte & Mackay adds to Mallya’s woes

Vijay Mallya is rumoured to be looking to reduce his stake in Whyte & Mackay, the Scotch whisky firm he bought for $1.2 billion just five years ago.

The news comes less than a month after his Kingfisher Airlines was forced to suspend international flights after accruing debts of $1.3bn.

Mallya’s United Spirits firm is understood to have struggled to balance its books after taking the strategic decision to move Whyte & Mackay away from the bulk and private label supply which at the time constituted the majority of its business.

Although the distiller’s branded business, which includes Dalmore and Isle of Jura whiskies as well as Vladivar vodka, grew by 18% to 1.8 million cases in 2011, its overall profits fell by more than 50% to the end of March 2011.

In addition to his distillery and brewing interests, Mallya’s business empire includes co-ownership of Formula 1’s Force India team, Indian cricket team the Bangalore Royal Challengers and two Indian football teams.

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