Campari buys Italian bitters producer for €103m

15th April, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Gruppo Campari has acquired Italian bitters, liqueur and grappa producer Fratelli Averna for €103 million.


Campari’s acquisition of Fratelli Averna includes its leading Averna bitters brand

The 100% acquisition of the 150-year-old, family-owned Italian group includes the Averna bitters brand, the second-largest in Italy, as well as the Braulio bitters, Limoncetta liqueur and Grappa Frattina – the first grappa for Campari.

Campari believes the purchase will not only strengthen its leadership in its home Italian market, but reinforces its growth potential in other markets around the world.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campri, said: “Adding a portfolio of brands with high quality, high margin and strong cash generation capability, this acquisition represents a great opportunity for us to leverage our international route-to-market for profitable growth, in line with our acquisition strategy.

“Other than in Italy, we will increase our critical mass in key Central European markets, particularly in Germany. Moreover, thanks to our strong distribution network in North America, we are very well positioned to benefit from the market’s growth potential, particularly in the US, where mixologists and local consumers are showing growing interest in Italian bitters and liqueurs in the on-premise channel.

“In this core market, with Averna, we will further enrich our existing offering of Italian specialities, including Campari, Frangelico, Cynar and Aperol.”

Averna has a 15% market share in the Italian market but also has a growing presence in central Europe and the US.

The Fratelli Averna group achieved total net sales of €61.8m in 2013, up 3.1% on the previous year. Around 40% of the group’s sales is generated by the Averna brand, with Braulio and Limoncetta accounting for 11%.

Campari, which also recently acquired the Forty Creek Canadian whisky distillery for €120.5m, expects the Fratelli Averna deal to complete on 3 June.

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