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Pawar admits ownership link to Bangalore team

New Delhi: Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has told IBN Network that he holds shares in the Baramati Grape Association, a subsidiary of Vijay Mallya-owned United Breweries (UB) Group.

He has however insisted that investment in Baramati Grape Association was a business investment and hence did not translate to he or his family having stake in the Royal Challengers Bangalore, (RCB) which is owned by Mallya.

This new revelation has come just days after Pawar accepted that his family hold 16.22 per cent equity stake in the City Corporation which bid for the Pune IPL franchise this year.

It is also learnt that besides City Corporation, the Pawar family has a small stake in the parent company of RCB.

The information about the Pawar family’s holding shares in UB Group was revealed by Sharad Pawar during an interview on Sunday.

According to the Times of India , Sharad Pawar and family own over 51,000 shares (0.05% of the company’s total equity) in Vijay Mallya’s United Spirits Ltd (USL), of which Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd (RCSPL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary. The shares are currently valued at about Rs 6 crore.

In 2006, the Baramati Grape Industries was merged with the USL, resulting in transfer of shares to the Pawar family-owned Lap Finance and Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.

Meanwhile, the UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya has denied the claim that the Pawar family holds shares in the RCB.

On Sunday, Mallya tweeted: ‘Height of Media’s absurdity again ! Pawar owns shares in the Baramati Grape Industries. So he owns an interest in the RCB ! God help us !’

The latest revelation by Sharad Pawar is seen by some as a damage control exercise by the Agriculture Minister whose earlier claim that neither he nor his family owned any stake in City Corporation, which had bid for the Pune IPL team, was proved false.

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