Can Diageo shake off Mallya’s legacy at USL?

The question hangs in the air as the British multinational faces off with Pernod Ricard for a bigger slice of the premium end of the Indian liquor market.

Diageo Plc would like to believe it has done a good job of ridding United Spirits Ltd of Vijay Mallya’s tainted legacy. 

Now, the flamboyant entrepreneur-turned-fugitive may have turned USL into a 120-million-case-a-year liquor giant by the time the British multinational took over in 2014, but he did leave behind many a skeleton when he exited.     

Among the biggest to tumble out of the cupboard was a $140 million loan from Standard Chartered Bank that Mallya’s private company had raised, pledging his shares. The private company defaulted on the loan and Diageo had to pick up the tab. Diageo later …


Prince M. Thomas

Prince leads the newsroom at The Morning Context as managing editor. A fascination with the written word has taken Prince to some of the leading newsrooms across the country, including The Economic Times, Dow Jones Newswires, Forbes India and Moneycontrol. In a career spanning 20 years, Prince has led teams, managed pages, projects and special editions, and has authored The Consolidators, published by Penguin Random House in 2017.

Managing Editor