Campari to enter Champagne sector with Lallier acquisition

The Campari Group is set to become the first Italian company to own a Champagne brand as it announced on Friday that it has entered into negotiations to acquire a majority share of Champagne Lallier.

The proposed deal would see Campari take an 80% share – “with a medium-term route to total ownership” – in SARL Champagne Lallier, and other companies owned by Mr Francis Tribaut, the proprietor of the Champagne brand.

Lallier was founded in 1906 in village of Aÿ in Champagne, and currently has 15 hectares of vineyards in the region. The business sold 1m bottles of Champagne in 2019, including close to 700,000 bottles of Lallier.

The projected transaction includes the brands, related stocks, real estate assets including owned and operated vineyards, and production facilities.

Lallier sold 700,000 bottles of Champagne last year and has 15 hectares of vineyards in the region

Should the acquisition be completed, it would mark the entry of the first Italian player in the Champagne category, according to the Campari Group.

db believes that this is one of a number of deals that are likely to come about as a result of the current pandemic, with Covid-19 accelerating consolidation in the industry, as larger companies, with stronger cash positions, take a stake in smaller business, facing cash-flow crises.

Campari, which is the sixth-largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, can use its global distribution to build the Lallier Champagne brand, which is currently mainly sold in restaurants and specialist wine shops.

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