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Campari Group to gain €80m from French villa sale

Italy’s Campari Group has agreed to sell its 188-year-old mansion Villa Les Cèdres in France for €200 million (US$220.6m) as part of the firm’s divestment of non-core assets related to the Grand Marnier liqueur acquisition.

Campari Group acquired Grand Marnier liqueur in 2016

In March 2016, Campari reached an agreement to take over Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML), the parent company of Grand Marnier liqueur. The villa in Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat was part of the acquisition.

Campari Group has reached a “preliminary agreement” to sell Villa Les Cèdres for €200 million, of which the Italian firm will retain €80m (US$88.3m).

The Villa Les Cèdres asset was deemed “non-strategic” to the firm’s core spirit business and was subsequently put up for sale.

A steering committee was tasked with ensuring the disposal of the asset under a tender offer agreed on 13 May 2016, with the aim of selling it at the highest price and at the earliest possible time.

The Italian group will pay all shareholders of Société des Produits Marnier-Lapostolle, in addition to the offer price, a “potential price supplement” if Villa Les Cèdres is sold successfully “under certain conditions”. The price supplement is equal to the difference between the net sale price of the villa.

With this agreement, Campari Group said the divestment of non-core assets related to the Grand Marnier acquisition, which included two wineries and some real estate properties, “is virtually complete”. It has led to combined proceeds of around €173m (US$190.9m), including the “positive cash flow” of €80m from the villa sale.

The deal is expected to have a “neutral effect” on Campari’s profit and loss (P&L) in 2019.

Villa Les Cèdres is an 188-year-old 18,000-square-foot mansion with approximately 14 hectares of property. Built in 1830, the home was once owned by king Leopold II of Belgium and it was acquired by the Marnier-Lapostolle family in 1924.

The deal is expected to close by 31 October 2019, subject to conditions, including the vacancy of one Marnier-Lapostolle family member who resides in the villa. Following the sale, the villa is intended for private use.

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