12th March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
Italian drinks giant Gruppo Campari has acquired Canadian whisky company Forty Creek Distillery for €120.5m.
John Hall, founder and master distiller at Forty Creek
As part of the deal, Campari will own 100% of the independently owned spirits company along with its flagship brand, Forty Creek Whisky – the fastest growing brand in the Canadian whisky category.
The acquisition comes at Grupo Campari seeks to capitalise on burgeoning brown spirits sales in the US and the UK.
The sale marks Campari’s foray into the Canadian whisky category.
“With Forty Creek we are leveraging our acquisition framework in a very disciplined manner for long-term growth.
“Via the entry to the large and growing Canadian whisky segment this acquisition further increases our exposure to the highly attractive brown spirits category while continuing to enhance our premium portfolio,” said Grupo Campari’s CEO, Bob Kunze-Concewitz.
“The acquisition will enable us to further build our critical mass in key North American markets, providing us with a strong market position in Canada and positioning us for further growth in our core US market.
“At the same time, our international route to market will also enable the Forty Creek whisky brand to grow faster out of its core North American market,” he added.
John Hall, founder of Forty Creek Distillery, added: “Today’s deal represents a milestone for the entire Forty Creek team.
“This opportunity will further support Forty Creek’s vision to produce unique, quality, handcrafted, Canadian-made spirits.
“Campari has the global ability to take Forty Creek to the next level. Introducing customers around the world to my whisky is a dream come true. I’m excited to continue to devote my time to whisky making at Forty Creek.”
Hall will remain chairman of the company.