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Illva Saronno snaps up Engine Gin

Italian spirits company Illva Saronno has moved into the gin category with the purchase of Piedmont-based Engine Gin for an undisclosed sum.

Engine Gin joins the Illva Saronno portfolio
Engine Gin is the first gin in Illva Saronno’s portfolio

Illva Saronno, the company behind liqueur brands Disaronno and Tia Maria, said it had initially purchased a 25% stake in Italian gin Engine in 2021 as part of a global distribution deal.

The acquisition of the remaining 75% stake enables the company to ‘strengthen’ its presence in the gin category, Illva Saronno said.

Aldino Marzorati, Illva Saronno CEO, said: “We are pleased and proud to announce the complete acquisition of Engine, a 100% Italian brand that integrates perfectly into our established portfolio.

“The decision to acquire Engine is an integral part of our corporate strategy, aimed at offering excellent products globally.”

Marzorati said Engine “appeals to an international audience” and is “distinctive” in the gin category. The deal will see Illva Saronno bring the brand to the 160 countries it operates in.

Engine Gin was founded in 2021 by entrepreneur Paolo Dalla Mora, who took inspiration from motorsports to create a design that mimics an oil can.

The brand is produced in Piedmont and offers flavours of lemon zest, sage and liquorice root.

Dalla Mora called the acquisition a “dream come true”.

“I started Engine at the age of 40, after a career as a manager in large companies, from an idea in a garage,” he continued.

“I launched the first can in Italy in May 2019 and, by April 2021, it had become a successful small multinational, now present in more than 30 markets. It’s every marketer’s dream to see their strategies solidify globally, and it’s every entrepreneur’s dream to achieve a successful exit.”

Dalla Mora said the deal would enable him to “focus on being a husband and father”, while remaining in the food and drinks sector by working on venture capital projects.

Engine Gin will continue to be distributed globally through Illva Saronno and Velier will maintain responsibility for the Italian market.

Last year, Illva Saronno entered the American whiskey category after taking a majority stake in Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit.

The Italian company also produces The Busker Irish whiskey and distributes Cotswolds Distillery’s portfolio of English whiskies and gin in the UK.

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