Campari sells Lemonsoda business for €80m

Gruppo Campari has sold its fruit-flavoured carbonated drinks brand Freedea, which includes its Lemonsoda, Oransoda, Pelmosoda and Mojito Sodato variants, to the Danish based beverage company Royal Unibrew A/S for €80 million.

The sale will also include the manufacturing and bottling facility, located in Crodo, Northern Italy, the attached water springs as well as the inventories of the Freedea and Crodo brands (with the exception of the brand Crodino).

As part of the transaction Gruppo Campari and Royal Unibrew will enter into a multi-year manufacturing agreement, under which Royal Unibrew will continue to manufacture certain Gruppo Campari-owned products which are currently produced at the facility.

“The sale of the Lemonsoda and Crodo business marks a further key step in our strategy of streamlining our non-core activities. In particular, with this transaction we exit the soft drinks business, while retaining our core Crodino brand, to further focus on our key aperitif business in Italy,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive officer at Gruppo Campari.

Since the beginning of 2017 Gruppo Campari has divested several non-strategic assets for a total value of approximately €310m.

Most recently, it sold two of its Irish whiskey liqueurs – Carolans Irish Cream and Irish Mist – to Bourbon maker Heaven Hill Brands for $165m, and later its Château de Sancerre winery for €20.5 million, completing its exit from the still wine business.

Gruppo Campari acquired the Lemonsoda business in 1995 as part of a larger brand portfolio which saw the brand also take on the the non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino, which is excluded from the announced disposal and remains today a key owned brand of Gruppo Campari.

“We are very pleased to sign this transaction with Royal Unibrew, a focused player and brand developer in the soft drinks and mineral water segments, and a perfect fit for the Lemonsoda business,” added Kunze-Concewitz.

“Moreover, we are glad to transfer the Crodo facility to a Group investing in the soft drinks segment with ambitious growth plans for the manufacturing site.”

Royal Unibrew A/S is a Danish limited liability company listed on the Nasdaq Nordic Stock Exchange with a number of beer (Ceres Strong Ale), soft drinks, waters, ciders, energy drinks and non-alcoholic malt drink brands.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

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