The Whisky Rebellion

India's liquor makers challenge Europe's Old Guard in the market for Asia's scotch lovers

For Vijay Mallya, taking over foreign companies is routine stuff. By building and buying everything from airlines to agrochemicals, he has created a $2 billion conglomerate. But he could be forgiven for taking a little added satisfaction in the recent $1.18 billion acquisition of scotch-whisky producer Whyte & Mackay by his UB Group, based in Bangalore, India. United Breweries has come full circle since the days of empire, when the firm was founded by Scotsman Thomas Leishman in 1915. It wasn't until India gained independence from Britain in 1947 that the first Indian director was appointed--Vittal Mallya, Vijay's father. Vijay Mallya...

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