United Breweries Group

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United Breweries Holdings Limited (UB Group)
Traded asBSE507458
Founded1857 (1857)
Area served
World Wide
Key people
ProductsBrewery, alcoholic beverage, engineering, real estate, horse breeding, derbies, Investments in sports
Revenue$99.2 billion
United Breweries Limited
LocationUB Tower, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Owned byUBHL and Heineken International (74%)
Active beers
Name Type
Kingfisher Lager Lager
Kingfisher Light Lager Lager
Kingfisher Strong Lager Lager
Kingfisher Super Strong Lager Lager
Flying Horse Royal Lager Lager
Kalyani Black Label Strong Lager Lager
Premium Ice Beer Lager
Raj Cobra Lager
Taj Mahal Premium Lager Lager
A Kingfisher beer advertisement in Goa
A Kingfisher beer advertisement in Goa

United Breweries Holdings Limited (UBHL) or UB Group is an Indian conglomerate company headquartered in UB City, Bangalore in the state of Karnataka, India.[1] Its core business includes beverages, aviation and investments in various sectors. The company markets beer under the Kingfisher brand, and owns various other brands of alcoholic beverages. It also launched Kingfisher Airlines, an airline in India whose operation has been halted after problems in 2014 that led to its licence being revoked by the DGCA.[2] United Breweries is India's largest producer of beer with a market share of around 52.5% by volume.[3]

The company chairman is Vijay Mallya, who left India on 2 March 2016, allegedly to escape legal action by Indian banks to whom he owes some 9,000 crore (US$1.3 billion) in loans. United Breweries now has greater than a 40% share of the Indian brewing market with 79 distilleries and bottling units across the world. In 2005, UB financed a takeover of the spirits business of the rival Shaw-Wallace company, giving it a majority share of India's spirits business.[4] The group also owns the Mendocino Brewing Company in the United States.


The UB Group was founded by a Scotsman, Thomas Leishman, in 1915, when he brought together Castle Brewery and Nilgiris Breweries (1857), Bangalore Brewing Co. (1885), British Brewing Corp. (1903) and BBB Brewery Co. Ltd. (1913). The Group took its initial lessons in manufacturing beer from South India based British breweries. At the age of 22, Vittal Mallya was elected as the company's first Indian director in 1947. After a year, he replaced R G N Price as the chairman of the company. Rangarajan took over from R G N Price.

United Breweries made its initial impact by manufacturing bulk beer for the British troops before independence, which was transported in huge barrels or "Hogsheads". Kingfisher, the group's most visible and profitable brand, made a modest entry in the sixties. During the 1950s and 60s, the company expanded greatly by acquiring other breweries. First was the addition of McDowell as one of the Group subsidiaries, a move which helped United Breweries to extend its portfolio to wines and spirits business. Strategically, the Group moved into agro-based industries and medicines when Mallya acquired Kissan Products and formed a long-term relationship with Hoechst AG of Germany to create the Indian pharmaceutical company now known as Aventis Pharma, the Indian subsidiary of the global pharma major Sanofi-Aventis.

UB Group has had some relationship with United Spirits Limited, which is now majority-owned (54.8%) by Diageo.


The Pegasus, which is the symbol of the United Breweries, first found its place as the Group logo in 1941.[citation needed] Then, the Helladic horse – associated with beer and nectar in Greek mythology – carried a beer cask between the wings, ostensibly because beer formed the core operations of the Group. Later, the beer cask was removed to represent the Group's multifaceted operations. Now, it is just the horse.

Key subsidiaries[edit]

  • United Breweries Limited – the UB Group's brewing entity, which has undisputed market leadership with a national market share in excess of 50%. Through a process of aggressive acquisition and market penetration, The UB Group today controls 60% of the total manufacturing capacity for beer in India. The flagship brand, Kingfisher, is now sold in over 52 countries worldwide, having received many accolades for its quality. As of March 2016, United Breweries was 43%-owned by Heineken.[5]
  • UB Engineering – the group's engineering business arm. It undertakes engineering, procurement and construction projects, infrastructure, on-site fabrication of structures, installation, testing and commissioning of electrical and mechanical equipment, piping for large industrial projects. The company was initially established as Western India Erectors in 1963 and came under the UB Group in 1988.[citation needed]
  • UBICS – providing IT consulting, bodyshopping services and professional IT products to business companies.[citation needed]


Alcoholic beverage brands[edit]

  • Kingfisher Premium (mild beer)
  • Kingfisher Strong (strong beer)
  • Kingfisher Draught (draught beer)
  • Kingfisher Storm (strong beer)
  • Kingfisher Ultra
  • Kingfisher Blue
  • Kingfisher Red
  • Kingfisher Strong Fresh
  • Kingfisher Bohemia
  • Zingaro
  • London Pilsner
  • UB Export
  • UB Export Strong
  • Kalyani Black Label
  • Kalyani Black Label Strong
  • Bullet
  • Charger
  • Marco Polo.
  • Kingfisher Ice Beer
  • Guru Strong...

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Group Headquarters". Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  2. ^ "economic express".
  3. ^ Balakrishnan, Reghu (9 May 2008). "Financial express, United Breweries to uncork low alcohol, fruit flavoured beer in India". Financialexpress.com. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Mallya bottles Shaw Wallace". The Telegraph. 22 March 2005.
  5. ^ "While everyone's scrapping over Vijay Mallya, Heineken moves in on United Breweries". Firstpost. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  6. ^ Fertilizers - Business. UB Group. Retrieved on 2013-12-23.
  7. ^ Engineering - Business. UB Group. Retrieved on 2013-12-23.

External links[edit]