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Campari acquires Canadian whiskey brand for $170 million

Published:  13 March, 2014

Gruppo Campari has reached an agreement to acquire Canada's fastest-growing whiskey brand Forty Creek Distillery, for US$170 million.

The acquisition is a first for Campari into the Canadian whiskey market as it moves to diversify its product portfolio.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive of Gruppo Campari, said: "We are once again leveraging our acquisition framework in a very disciplined and consistent manner for long-term growth. Via the entry to the large and growing Canadian Whisky segment this acquisition further increases our exposure to the highly attractive brown spirits category."

Kunze-Concewitz sees the acquisition as an opportunity to grow the company's presence in the Canadian and American markets, both markets are currently seeing large increases of growth and are a major focus for several international wine and spirits brands, while European markets have seen recent declines in alcohol consumption.

John Hall the founder and whiskey maker of Forty Creek distillery will remain the chairman of the company and said: "Introducing customers around the world to my whisky is a dream come true. I am very excited to continue to devote my time to whisky making at Forty Creek distillery, continuing my whisky journey and exploring my passion for additional Forty Creek whisky expressions."

Campari simultaneously released its year end financials, with organic sales increasing +1.7% to €1,524.1 million, primarily due to solid performance in the Americas and Russia, which offset weaker performances in Germany and Austria.