UB Group is an Indian multinational with diverse business interests. Here is a brief profile and history of UB Group

UB Group

The UB Group (United Breweries) Group is a multi-faceted conglomerate with business interests in Beverage Alcohol, Pharmaceuticals, Media, International Trading, Aviation, Fertilizer, Research & Development, and Infrastructure Development.

The UB Group was founded by a Scottish gentleman Thomas Leishman in 1915. The company used to manufacture beer at that time and took its initial lessons in manufacturing beer from South Indian based British breweries. In August 1947, Vittal Mallya became the company's first Indian director. A year later he became the Chairman of the Group. United Breweries came into limelight by manufacturing bulk beer for the British troops, which was transported in huge barrels. In 1950s and 60s, the group expanded rapidly and made several acquisitions. McDowell was added as one of the Group subsidiaries. This helped UB Group to venture into wines and spirits business. Kingfisher, the Group's most visible and profitable brand, made its entry in the sixties. Thereafter, the Group moved into agro-based industries and medicines when it acquired Kissan Products and formed a long-term relationship with Hoechst AG of Germany to promote Aventis Pharma.

After Vittal Mallya's death in 1983, his son Vijay Mallya assumed the mantle of the group. Vijay Mallya inducted professional management and consolidating the Group into individual operating divisions. In 1988, UB Group acquired the global Berger Paints Group with operating companies across four continents. The paints business was divested for significant value in 1996. After India adopted economic liberalization in 1991, the UB Group decided to retain interests in only those businesses that were globally competitive and did not depend upon fiscal tariff protection. Today, UB Group is the third largest manufacturer of Spirits products in the world. In 2005, the Group entered aviation sector with the launch of Kingfisher Airlines Limited. With in a short time the airlines has captured an impressive market share and has established a niche identity for itself.

Business Interests of UB Group:

Beverage Alcohol: The UB Group is 3rd largest spirits marketer in the world, with overall sales of 60 million cases. The company offers 140 brands at varying price points. Some of the famous brands of the UB Group are: Bagpiper Whisky, McDowell's No.1 Whisky, Director's Special Whisky, McDowell's No.1 Brandy and McDowell's Celebration Rum.

Pharmaceuticals: The group's company Aventis Pharma Limited is the second largest pharmaceutical multinational in India. It develops and markets branded prescription drugs and vaccines.

Media: The UB Group also has a shareholding in Asian Age Holdings Ltd, the company that owns and manages daily newspaper, The Asian Age.

International Trading: The Group's company UB Global Limited is a recognized export house engaged in the export of Beer, Spirits, Leather Footwear and Processed Foods. The Company also exports Pharmaceutical Products and customized perfumeries.

Fertilizer: Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited is under UB Group's management. It has a manufacturing capacity of 2,17, 800 MT of Ammonia and 3,80,000 MT of Urea.

Research & Development: Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation (VMSRF) was established in 1987 with the objective of developing newer and novel technologies that will have substantial application in industry and health care. The foundation is it is recognized by the Departments of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), Dept. of Biotechnology (DBT), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Ministry of Finance, Govt. of India.

Aviation: UB Group entered aviation sector in 2005 with the launch of Kingfisher Airlines Limited. Kingfisher Airlines has captured an impressive market share and has established a niche identity for itself. The airlines recently acquired 25% stake in Deccan Airlines.

Note: The above information was last updated on 21-07-2007