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United Spirits Ltd.

This article will tell you everything you need to know before investing in MCDOWELL-N.

united spirits

In this article, we will explore United Spirits Ltd. fundamentally, understand its business model and industry, and determine whether it’s a good investment fit for you.

United Spirits Ltd.

United Spirits Ltd. is India’s leading alcoholic beverages company. It is the subsidiary of the global leader in the space, Diageo PLC. USL is currently involved in the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of premium brands like Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, VAT 69, Antiquity, Signature, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No.1, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan in India.

The company has a comprehensive portfolio of brands under its umbrella, most of which are very popular in India. The company has got its hands in whisky, brandy, rum, vodka, and gin. Out of these, 9 brands sell more than a million cases each year.

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Is the alcoholic beverages industry a good sector to invest in?

USL currently has the highest market share in the Indian alcoholic beverages industry at 25%. It is also the 2nd largest spirit company in the world. Specifically in the whiskey market which accounts for 65% of the spirits sale in India, the company has more than 45% market share.

The industry as a whole is estimated to be worth US $52.4 billion and is on track to reach US $64 billion by 2025, growing at a robust 6.5% CAGR. With regard to segmentation, Indian-made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) currently claims the lion’s share with a market value of US $34 billion. However, beer and wine segments are also currently witnessing healthy growth.

The industry also creates 8 million jobs every year, and generated taxes amounting to ₹2.4 lakh crore in 2021. However, stricter regulation of alcohol by the government and increasing social sensitivities regarding alcohol consumption might pose threats in the long term.

Who are MCDOWELL-N’s competitors in the alcoholic beverages sector?

Here are some of MCDOWELL-N’s competitors:

  • United Breweries Ltd
  • Radico Khaitan Ltd
  • Tilaknagar Industries Ltd
  • Sula Vineyards Ltd
  • Globus Spirits Ltd

History of United Spirits Ltd.

United Spirits Ltd., one of the country’s largest liquor producers, has a history that’s intertwined with the nation’s evolving drinking culture. Since its origins in 1826, USL has grown through the years. This is a brief history of its strategic acquisitions and the story of its growth through the years:

  • Early growth: Established as McDowell & Co., the company began importing liquor and later transitioned to domestic production. It eventually launched iconic brands like McDowell’s No. 1 Brandy, solidifying their market position. A series of mergers and acquisitions consolidated USL’s dominance, with key deals including Herbertsons, Triumph Distillers, and Shaw Wallace.
  • Regulatory manoeuvres and growth: The company entered the international market with the acquisition of Bouvet-Ladubay in 2007. In 2014, it also acquired Whyte & Mackay, further strengthening their global portfolio. Following the Supreme Court’s liquor ban, the company adapted to changing regulations and focused on off-highway distribution.
  • Current standing: Today, the company is the world’s second-largest spirits company by volume, with a diverse portfolio across India and international markets.

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Investing in MCDOWELL-N


  • The company has a pan-India presence with 47 manufacturing facilities around India and more than 70,000 distributors.
  • As a part of the company’s portfolio reshaping strategy, it also collaborated with MasterChef Heston Blumenthal to promote its Black & White whiskey.
  • The company has also reduced debt, and is almost debt-free.
  • Company shows good signs of profitability and operational efficiency.


  • The stock seems to be overpriced, trading at more than 11.5 times the value of its assets (book value).
  • Sales growth has been poor for the last 5 years, averaging at just over 4%.
  • Market share has also been decreasing in the last few years, dropping to less than 37.5%.
  • The industry has been growing faster than the company, with industry averages at 15.4% and the company’s average at just under 12.5%.

The finances

Market cap₹78,845 cr
Book value₹93.6
Dividend Yield0.36%
Face value₹2.00

Shareholding pattern of Titan Ltd.

Here’s the shareholding pattern of Titan:

Inside of DIIs, mutual funds have been steadily increasing their share in the company since last June, ramping up investments from 8.03% to more than 10% now. Other ownership trends remain relatively stable.

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Peer multiple comparison

StockP/E RatioP/B RatioDiv. Yield
United Spirits Ltd70.8713.42
United Breweries Ltd155.9311.940.42%
Radico Khaitan Ltd102.3010.210.18%
Tilaknagar Industries Ltd30.889.580.10%


So, that’s a brief overview of everything you need to know about United Spirits Ltd. before investing. This information is by no means, however, exhaustive, and we encourage you to do your own research before investing.

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