Campari Group to buy Trois Rivières and La Mauny rumsBy Nicola Carruthers
Italy’s Campari Group has entered into “exclusive negotiations” with the Chevrillon Group to buy French firm Rhumantilles SAS, owner of Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny agricole rum brands.
Rhumantilles SAS owns 96.5% of Martinique-based Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs (BBS) Group, which produces “strategic premium brands” Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny, and Duquesne rum.
The deal includes the brands, the land holdings, the distilleries and visitor centers, as well as a high-quality aged rum inventory.
Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny have a “strong presence in France and potential for international growth”, while Duquesne rum is said to be a brand designed for the local market.
The rum brands obtained the Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC) ‘Rhum Agricole de la Martinique’ certification.
‘Rhum Agricole’ is the only segment in the rum category to benefit from a label of origin, which was gained in 1996. It is said to provide a “significant barrier to entry for potential competitors”.
Wild Turkey owner Campari said net sales of BBS was €24.1 million (US$27m).
Family-owned French investment company Chevrillon Group purchased BBS in 2012. The group is also a majority shareholder of French distribution firm the Dugas Company.
BBS employs around 100 people, mostly in Martinique, and operates 800 hectares of land south of the island, in the communes of Sainte-Luce and Rivière-Pilote.
If the deal is finalised, the rum brands will join Jamaican brand Appleton Estate in Campari Group’s rum portfolio.
The Italian firm said rum was a premium category “at the heart of the mixology trend and growing cocktail culture” and that Campari Group “will have an opportunity to add prestigious rhum agricole brands” to its portfolio.
It added: “Moreover, France is poised to become one of the group’s strategic markets and with this acquisition Campari Group has the opportunity to add significant critical mass in this market.”
Campari hopes for a “positive conclusion” to the talks and will provide key financial terms of the deal if secured.