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Gruppo Campari exits still wine to drive spirits

Gruppo Campari has sold the Château de Sancerre winery, acquired alongside Grand Marnier, and exited the still wine business entirely to focus on its core spirits portfolio.

Gruppo Campari has departed the still wine industry to increase its focus on spirits

The Italian spirits group sold the winery to Maison Ackerman, the wine division of French-based company Terrena, for €20.5 million (US$23m).

The sale consists of the Sancerre wines, buildings, more than 55 hectares of vineyards, vinification, production plants and inventory.

The winery was founded in 1919 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, the creator of Grand Marnier liqueur. It was acquired as part of Campari’s friendly takeover of Grand Marnier in June 2016.

Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: “With the disposal of the Sancerre winery, which follows the sale of the Italian and the Chilean still wine businesses, finalised over the last year, Gruppo Campari fully exits the still wine business, thus continuing to streamline its non-core activities and increasing its focus on the core spirits business.

“Since the beginning of 2016 we have divested non-core assets for a total value of approximately €117m (US$131m).”

In the fiscal year ended 31 December 2016 the Château de Sancerre winery achieved total sales of €3.5m (US$3.9m). The transaction will be closed once a final administrative authorisation is awarded in accordance with local legislation.

Gruppo Campari reached an agreement to take over parent company SPML in March 2015, and expects to fully acquire the business from the controlling family by 2021.

The group remains tight-lipped over reports that it is considering offloading its Irish Mist Whiskey and Carolans Irish Cream brands.

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