?Heineken to take over charges of United Breweries' reign
?Heineken to take over charges of United Breweries' reign

One of India's largest beer maker, United Breweries will call for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to evict its chairman Vijay Mallya, if the latter fails to accede to a request made by the board of directors to step down, after Sebi barred him from holding any post in public listed companies.

This could also coincide with Dutch beer giant Heineken, which owns 43 percent stake, moving to take "effective management control" of the Kingfisher beer maker, people directly familiar with the matter said.

The fugitive tycoon Mallya has not responded to United Breweries' move to get him to quit the board. He has not yet moved Securities Appellate Tribunal to get the January 25 order stayed or vacated.

Mallya and Heineken had entered into a shareholding pact, which was based on equal ownership of around 37.5 percent each. This gave both the parties rights to three seats each in a 12-member boardroom with six independent directors.

However, the agreement between Mallya and Heineken is said to have lapsed after the latter starting mopping up Mallya's pledged shares being offloaded by the lenders. Mallya's direct and indirect shareholding stands at about 31 percent now.

Heineken has not openly bickered with the beleaguered Indian industrialist, unlike Diageo's falling out with Mallya in United Spirits. However, this may be changing and soon enough, depending on Mallya's response to the recent developments. A detailed questionnaire and phone calls to Heineken went unanswered at the time of going to press.

A spokesperson for Mallya said he had no statements to offer. Sources said Heineken was preparing to bid for nearly 11 percent stake owned by Mallya's investment holding company UB Holdings, which is facing liquidation.

Earlier this week, the Karnataka high court ordered winding up UBHL with shares in companies such as United Breweries and United Spirits, besides immovable assets including a luxury retail mall. This could make Heineken a controlling shareholder and and provide a platform to push for total management control.

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