UK’s Diageo-owned USL snubs NSE, won’t divulge Mallya info
In a fresh twist to the boardroom battle at Diageo-owned United Spirits, stock exchange NSE has asked the company to make public its inquiry report on alleged fund diversion to Vijay Mallya's UB Group, but the liquor maker has rejected the demand citing 'confidentiality'.
The matter is already being looked into by several agencies, including markets watchdog Sebi and the stock exchanges which act as front-end regulators. Taking forward its probe into the entire matter, the National Stock Exchange had asked United Spirits Ltd (USL) to provide a detailed report on its inquiry for "the public dissemination purpose". Besides, the company was also asked to clarify on any submissions made by it to the Central Government or other authorities in connection with this matter. To this, the company said that the "key findings of the inquiry and the steps taken by the USL Board were promptly and transparently disclosed" on April 27. "However, we are not in a position to make the Internal Report available to the NSE for onwards public dissemination," the company said, while citing various reasons.
A major boardroom battle has broken out at USL after its board asked Vijay Mallya to quit as Chairman and Director on the basis of this report, which indicated alleged fund diversion to various UB group firms between 2010-2013. Mallya has refused to quit, while majority owner Diageo is yet to take a public position on the entire matter. "The Internal Report contains sensitive commercial and operational information concerning the company and transactions and dealings involving various parties, and is confidential to the Company.”
“A public disclosure of the Internal Report would provide the company's competitors and other third parties with vested interests an access to such sensitive commercial and operational information of the company.” it added.