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Gruppo Campari sells Carolans and Irish Mist for $165mn

Published:  24 July, 2017

Gruppo Campari is selling the Carolans and Irish Mist brands to American company Heaven Hill Brands.

The $165mn deal will see the US spirits distributor acquire Carolans Irish Cream and Irish Mist liqueurs and whiskey trademarks, as well as inventory and production assets.

However, Gruppo Campari will continue to distribute the Carolans and Irish Mist brands in the international markets outside the US, in a multi-year exclusive distribution agreement with Heaven Hill.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Gruppo Campari’s CEO said today that the sale of Carolans and Irish Mist is the largest disposal ever completed by the company.

In the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016, Carolans and Irish Mist totalled net sales of €34 million, representing approximately 2% of Gruppo Campari net sales for FY2016.

The United States is the brands’ core market, accounting for 70% of the 2016’s sales.

The two brands were acquired by Gruppo Campari in 2010 as part of a larger portfolio which also included Frangelico - a key acquisition for the Milan-headquartered multi-national.

Carolans is the second-largest selling Irish cream whiskey liqueur worldwide.

Irish Mist Liqueur is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and aromatic spices.

Heaven Hill Brands is America’s largest independent family-owned and operated distilled spirits company and is headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky.

The company is the overall sixth-largest supplier in the US and has currently owns the second-largest inventory of Bourbon in the world.

CEO Kunze-Concewitz said: “With this transaction, we continue to streamline our non-strategic portfolio and further increase our focus on our priority spirit brands, particularly in our largest and core US market. Moreover, thanks to this disposal, we can further accelerate in the reduction of our financial indebtedness. Since the beginning of 2016 we have divested non-strategic assets for a total value of approximately €260 million.”