Gruppo Campari to Buy Grand Marnier for US$760 Million

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15 Mar 2016 --- Gruppo Campari , the Italian drinks company, is buying the iconic French orange-flavoured liqueur brand Grand Marnier in a deal valued at €684 million (US$760 million).  Gruppo Campari said it has reached an agreement with Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle, the family shareholders which own Grand Marnier.

Grand Marnier’s heritage dates back to 1880. It is made from a blend of cognac brands, bitter orange and sugar. 

Its portfolio of drinks include Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge and a range of liqueurs which can be consumed neat or used in mixed drinks and deserts. In France, it is popularly used in crepes.

Grand Marnier’s global distribution is currently split between Diageo and a number of independents.

The acquisition marks a bold move for Campari, which makes Skyy vodka and Turkey bourbon.

Campari will take control of 18 percent of shares straight away before acquiring the rest of the family shares by 2021.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive of Gruppo Campari, said: “We are delighted to consolidate this alliance between the SPML controlling family shareholders and Gruppo Campari.”

“Grand Marnier is a French icon, with a rich 150-year history for which we have profound respect. This acquisition represents a perfect fit with our external growth strategy in terms of brand profile, distribution and financial framework. “

“With Grand Marnier, we add a premium and distinctive brand to our Global Priorities portfolio and we further consolidate our position as the leading purveyor of premium liqueurs and bitter specialties worldwide.”

“In terms of route-to-market, Grand Marnier is a unique opportunity to continue leveraging our enhanced international distribution capabilities benefiting from a perfect fit of the distribution reach of the acquired business.”

“Moreover, we continue leveraging our strong marketing capabilities and consolidated track record in re-launching and accelerating momentum of high potential brands. Thanks to its exceptional quality and international recognition, Grand Marnier enhances our exposure to the premium on-trade, across all markets, to the benefit of the Group’s overall portfolio, as well as to Global Travel Retail.”

“In particular, as a key ingredient in many classic cocktails and a must have premium brand in classic cocktail bars, Grand Marnier strengthens our quest to further capitalize on the revival of classic cocktails, particularly in the US. “

“Importantly, a global trend unleashed in the US with mixologists and premium consumers showing growing interest in specialties and liqueurs in the on-premise channel.”

“Grand Marnier will benefit from the strategic focus of the strengthened Gruppo Campari RTM as a key Brand within our Global Priorities portfolio across all markets.”

“By acquiring Grand Marnier, we continue leveraging our acquisition framework in a very disciplined and consistent manner also from a financial view point as we consolidate a high-margin brand and cash generative business, expected to determine an immediate accretive effect on the existing business.”

by John Reynolds

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