Chhabria & Mallya settle Officer’s Choice row outside court
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The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday agreed to the compromise petition and settlement plan for the dispute between Kishore Chhabria's Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD) and Vijay Mallya's United Spirits (USL). Both parties appealed to the judge to allow them to withdraw the cases against each other.
"USL will have no right on the Officer's Choice brand. It belongs to ABD and USL will have no claim on that," said Sidhartha Mitra, counsel appearing on behalf of ABD.
The dispute started after Mallya took over Shaw Wallace & Co in 2005. The company was owned by Kishore Chhabria's brother Manu Chhabria. Manu Chhabria Group had filed a case in 1992 and claimed ownership of Officer's Choice whisky.
Mallya claimed that he is the rightful owner of Officer's Choice whisky and not Chhabria. At present Chhabria sells the Officer's Choice whisky through ABD. Mallya had urged the Calcutta High Court to stop Chhabria from raising fresh funds till the issue is resolved. According to settlement terms, ABD, in which Chhabria owns around 95% stake, will pay R8 crore to USL.
Kishore Chhabria said in a statement that while the lawsuits held no risk for either Officer's Choice or the company, the settlement will relieve the company of legal activities.
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