Mumbai /London — Diageo was considering raising its majority stake in Indian whisky producer United Spirits, people familiar with the matter said, as the British maker of Johnnie Walker scotch strengthens its hold on the Asian country’s growing liquor market. Diageo is weighing an open offer to the other shareholders in India’s biggest spirits maker, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Diageo has a 55% stake in United Spirits, which has a market value of about $4.7bn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. No final decisions have been made and the company may decide against buying more shares, they said. If completed, the deal would help Diageo build on its lead in the world’s largest whisky market by volume, while pushing its other brands such as Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer sales through United Spirits’s established and vast distribution network. Whisky consumption in India is on the rise, aided by an expanding middle c...

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