Heineken seeks to remove Mallya from United Breweries board

Dutch brewing giant Heineken is seeking to remove VJ Mallya from the board of India’s United Breweries (UB), according to reports from Delhi.

Heineken is the majority owner of India’s biggest brewer, but when Mallya sold his stake to the Dutch group, he was given an agreement that appointed him as chairman for life and a non-retiring director who did not need to offer himself to other shareholders for periodic re-election.

As part of the proceedings in India against the fugitive Mallya, the country’s Economic Directorate has appropriated his shares in United Breweries to recover some the £1.15 billion he owes a consortium of banks.

Heineken is reported to be taking legal opinion on whether, because he now formally holds no shares in UB, its agreement with Mallya is null and void and that it is legally entitled to nominate a new chairman for the brewer.

Mallya has previously been barred from holding any executive office in a company quoted on the Indian stock markets.

The next hearing on whether Mallya should be extradited from the UK to India will take place in London in two weeks’ time.

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