The maker of Officer’s Choice Whisky buys right from Herman Jansen to acquire Tilaknagar Industries, which makes the popular brandy in India.
Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd (ABD), which makes Officer’s Choice whisky has bought 50 percent ownership rights in Mansion House and Savoy Club brands from Herman Jansen Beverages Nederland B.V.
The move is to take an attempt to acquire rival Tilaknagar Industries Ltd which currently makes the popular Mansion House brandy in India. Mansion House brandy sales constitute over 60 percent of Tilaknagar revenues. Tilaknagar has been making Mansion House brandy in India since 1983 under a commercial arrangement with UTO Nederland B.V., now known as Herman Jansen.
ABD has previously claimed that it has been authorized by Herman Jansen to use the Mansion House brand in India, a claim rejected by Tilaknagar. According to Tilaknagar, it has received ‘a categorical reply on 24th January 2014 from the lawyers of UTO that no such partnership or arrangement’ with ABD or any other party has been entered into by UTO. ABD and Herman Jansen have also signed a partnership agreement, under which ABD will produce and market Mansion House in India. Deepak Roy, executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer at ABD, said the company will now be a co-plaintiff, along with Herman Jansen, in the case against Tilaknagar.
In May, Tilaknagar had said that it was the only manufacturer of Mansion House liquor in India and denied it was in negotiations with ABD to be acquired. The Mansion House brand is crucial for Tilaknagar as it is the only successful premium brand of any meaningful scale in the company’s portfolio. Tilaknagar and ABD are looking to raise cash to reduce debt and fund expansion, respectively.