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Campari makes rum move with Appleton acquisition

Gruppo Campari has made a bold move into the rum category for the first time by acquiring an 81.4% stake in Lascelles deMercado, the Jamaican company that owns Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew.

Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Rum
Appleton Estate launched its 50 Year Old rum in June 2012

The deal, which is worth US$414.8million, will give Campari control of a combined rum and spirits portfolio of 3.5million 9-litre cases.

It is the third largest acquisition the company has made in its history, behind Wild Turkey and Skyy Spirits.

In addition to the brands themselves, LaScelles deMercado also owns and operates agriculture facilities, including sugar cane fields, two distilleries, one sugar factory, nine farms and 18 warehouses in Jamaica. The deal will also see Campari take hold of an inventory of aged rum, including the recently launched Appleton Estate 50 Year Old, which was released earlier this year to celebrate Jamaica’s independence.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Campari, said the deal will put the group in a prime position to compete as a leading spirits player.

“With Lascelles deMercado, the award winning distiller of world class premium dark, overproof and gold Jamaican rums, we are once again leveraging our acquisition framework in a very disciplined and consistent manner for future growth,” he said.

“The addition of the Appleton, Wray & Nephew and Coruba rum brands as well as a portfolio of local Jamaican brands will help us build our critical mass further in key North American markets, provide a leading market position in Jamaica, a major destination in the Caribbean, whilst laying the foundations for future international growth across all major usage occasions of the growing and premiumising rum category.

“When completed, this acquisition will give a further boost to the internationalisation of Gruppo Campari, further expanding our business outside of Italy, as well as strengthening our largest and most profitable business, the Spirits segment.”

In the year to 30 September 2011, LaScelles deMercado achieved pro-forma sales of US$265.4million.

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