United Breweries (Holdings) Limited was incorporated in 23rd March 1915 at Chennai. The Company's principle activities are to develop, market and export alcoholic beverages, leather footwear, pharmaceutical products, agrochemicals and processed foods. In addition, the group provides engineering colleges and air transportation etc through its subsidiaries.
The Company entered into a memorandum of understanding with M/s. Jenson and Nicholson of the U.K in the year 1988. During the year 1992, three wholly owned subsidiaries viz. High Range Breweries Ltd., Kesarval Beverages Ltd. and Kalyani Brewerie Ltd were amalgamated with the company. As at April of the same year 1992, five more wholly owned subsidiaries viz., Golden Investments Ltd., Eudeavour Investments Ltd., East Coast Investments Ltd., Consolidated Investments Ltd. and Enterprise Investments Ltd were also amalgamated with the company.
Kingfisher Lager was introduced in cans and pints in Mumbai during the period of 1993. In 1994, Draught Beer was introduced in cities like Mumbai, Calcutta and Pune because of the immense popularity in Bangalore. `Kalyani Premium Strong' also was launched in western India and `Kalyani Export Special' commenced sales in the U.K. during the year same year of 1994. UBHL had acquired Mumbai Breweries at Maharashtra during the year 1997 from Herbertsons Ltd. The Company had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the multinational around one-and-a-half months back for the proposed disinvestments. During the year 1998, UBHL made tie up with Balaji Distilleries to bottle for the first time in Tamil Nadu its brand beers with a capacity of 500,000 cases per annum. The Company had incorporated a new subsidiary company under the name of Millennium Alcobev Ltd (MABL) in the year of 1999.
In the year 2000, UBHL had launched its fast growing brand Kingfisher Strong on the Net in Bangalore. During the same year of 2000, the company had acquired two breweries of Aurangabad-based Inertia Industries located in Aurangabad and in Haryana. Also entered into a strategic alliance with Intertia Industries to produce beer using the latter's manufacturing facilities in Haryana and Maharashtra. The group had signed reseller and licence agreement in the year 2001 to market See It First interactive streaming media solutions in Asia. In the same year 2001, UBHL had launched two more premium brands-London Pilsner premium beer and London No.1 strong beer in Hyderabad. The Company had acquired 100% shareholding in Empee Breweries Ltd in the year 2002, which had two breweries, one in Kerala and one in Tamil Nadu. In December of the year 2004, the company merged ten subsidiary companies with itself. During the year 2005, the company had completed the acquisition of Shaw Wallace and Company Limited with its subsidiaries and associates following financial closure, which was facilitated by ICICI Bank. As at 9th May of the year 2005, the wholly owned subsidiary Kingfisher Airlines Limited started its operation.
The Company had bought a 50% strategic stake in the US based aircraft company, Epic Aircraft in September of the year 2007 for USD 120 million (about Rs 4.80 billion). As at December 2007, The UB group acquired the US distribution rights for the Dalmore Single Malt. The airlines division of the company Kingfisher plans to fly to Bangladesh, Huston and New York and Sri Lanka by the year-end of 2008. UB Group is in talks with France-based EADS Socata, a leading aircraft manufacturer, to invest around USD 200 million for co-developing business jets.