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Campari makes acquisitions, targets US expansion

Family-controlled Gruppo Campari has acquired three drinks brands as it attempts to consolidate on its strength in the North American market.

Campari, which is controlled by the Garavoglia family, announced on Thursday that it had paid €129 million to William Grant & Sons for Carolans, Frangelico and Irish Mist brands.
 
In a statement, Campari's non-family CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said that Campari now intends to increase its presence in the US market after seeing sales there boom in recent years.

Last month, the group revealed that the US accounted for more than a third of its total sales, which topped €1 billion in 2009.

Driven by sales of Wild Turkey, the bourbon brand Campari purchased in 2009, US sales rose more than 45% year-on-year in the first half of 2010.

By contrast, sales in Italy increased by just over 2%, while in the rest of Europe they rose 12%.

Family-owned Williams Grant & Sons had only owned the brands for three months after buying them from cider manufacturer C&C Group.

William Grant & Sons' non-family CEO Stella David said: "This is a great deal. We were offered a very attractive price from Campari."

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