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Campari's family put squabbles behind it and toast largest ever acquisition

The family owners of Gruppo Campari were famously in the news for all the wrong reasons in the early 2000s after a feud gave the company some unwanted attention. However, the largest acquisition in the company's history announced yesterday should soothe battered egos.

Non-family CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz unveiled the purchase of Wild Turkey whisky for €433 million. The acquired business includes the Wild Turkey brands, American Honey liqueur, distillery facilities in Kentucky, and aged liquid and finished product inventory.

Analysts view the deal as a good one for the Milan-based company, particularly as it cements its footprint in the US. The group, which has revenues of €942 million, produces the eponymous red aperitif and distributes a wide range of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

The Garavoglia family purchased the business from the founding Campari family in the 1970s and today controls 51% of the group. Family member Maddalena Garavoglia went to court in 2000 claiming that the company, in which she held a 23% stake, had tried to push her out in the run up to its 2001 stockmarket listing. In 2006, her brother, chairman Luca Garavoglia, was given a court order to pay Maddalena €100 million in damages.

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