Campari buys Bisquit Cognac for €52.5m

The Campari Group has bought Bisquit Cognac from Distell for €52.5 million.

The newly-acquired business includes maturing stock valued at approximately €33m, along with the trademarks as well as production facilities consisting of warehouses, blending cellars and a bottling plant.

The deal between the Milan headquartered company and the South Africa based Distell Group is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

Buying Bisquit gives the Campari Group its first Cognac, although the company owns Grand Marnier, a liqueur containing Cognac that was bought by the group last year for US$760m.

The Bisquit Cognac brand is expected to achieve pro-forma net sales of approximately €9 million in FY2018. The brand’s key markets include South Africa, Belgium, global travel retail and Switzerland.

db contributor and drinks M&A specialist Ron Emler points out that €52.5m is quite a good price from Campari’s perspective considering it includes €33m of maturing stock, meaning that the Bisquit brand and premises cost just shy of €20m.

Emler also says that Bisquit is also a good bolt-on to Grand Marnier as the two can be marketed in tandem, so it’s a lever for the portfolio, notably in South Africa, which is a relatively new area for Campari.

Furthermore, over the longer term, it gives Campari a brand with which to step up activity in the Far East, especially China, where it is relatively weak.

Finally, it boosts Campari’s portfolio in the key US market.

Commenting on the acquisition this morning, Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said, “We are very pleased to have acquired Bisquit Cognac, as it gives us the opportunity to expand our offering into the premium and growing cognac category.”

Continuing he said, “Thanks to the super premium brand Bisquit Cognac and its strong heritage, we further enhance our premium brands portfolio, driving richer product mix. Moreover, we acquire a significant stock of high quality cognac and take full control of the cognac ageing process, thus enabling brand innovation opportunities in the future.

He added, “From a distribution standpoint we further strengthen our route-to-market, particularly in our recently established South African market, with potential upsides to further develop the newly acquired business internationally, particularly in US and China, the key regions for the premium cognac category. Moreover we further increase our exposure to the premium on-premise distribution channel, across both developed markets and emerging markets.”

Focus brands for the group are Campari, Aperol, Appleton rum, Skyy vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Grand Marnier orange liqueur.

The group is expected to complete the disposal of its Lemonsoda business on 2 January, 2018.

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