Mallya misses United Breweries' AGM, continues as chairman

Vijay Mallya was not present for the first at a United Breweries (UB) annual general meeting (AGM) since he took over as chairman of the company in 1983. 

Self-exiled to Britian, he'd taken charge after his father's death and built UB into India's largest beer maker. And, lost his empire, including United Spirits, the flagship liquor maker, after his Kingfisher Airlines got grounded in 2012. Mallya since then owes banks at least Rs 7,200 crore; he has a barrage of charges against him for diverting funds illegally offshore and violating local laws. 

Mallya's speech on Wednesday was read in absentia to shareholders by company director Chug Yogendra Pal, who chaired the AGM. UB claimed over half the total market share in beer sales in India and is pushing premium products of its majority shareholder, Heineken, to Indian customers. 

Mallya for now continues to be chairman of the company, after UB got it clarified from the securities regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India, and a former chief justice of the country, said Pal. he added that the government's Enforcement Directorate (ED) had "not attached" any properties or shares of UB and Mallya was not disqualified from being chairman.

Mallya continues to chair board meetings of the company through video conference.

On September 5, ED had issued its second attachment order for assets worth Rs 6,630 crore against Mallya - it directed seizing of his farmhouse, apartments and fixed deposits in connection with its money laundering case against him and associates.

"We have a robust pipeline. We are working on new products that we plan to bring in the market over the next 24 months," said UB Managing Director Shekhar Ramamurthy. 

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