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Campari completes Canadian whisky and Italian bitters buyouts

Gruppo Campari has completed the purchase of Canadian whisky producer Forty Creek Distillery, and Italian bitters group Fratelli Averna for a combined €237 million.

Campari has completed its acquisition of Forty Creek Distillery, producer of Forty Creek whisky

In March 2014 Campari revealed plans to acquire Forty Creek Distillery for €120.5m, but has now closed the deal on €133m.

The deal, which includes the acquisition of stocks, the distillery itself, manufacturing facilities and a hospitality centre in Ontario, gives Campari a footprint in Canadian whisky, as well as a distribution hub in the country.

Meanwhile, the group’s buyout of 150-year-old, family-owned Italian bitters company Fratelli Averna also completed this month.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari, said at the time: “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.”

It’s thought the Averna acquisition strengthens Campari’s leadership in its home market of Italy, while the addition of Forty Creek will provide the group with a much-needed route-to-market in Canada, as well as a play in the fast-growing Canadian whisky market.

In March, Kunze-Concewitz claimed the group was more interested in acquiring a Canadian whisky brand than Irish or Japanese, as the two categories “are already in very firm hands” and are “concentrated categories”.

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