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Campari steps into ‘super premium’ cognac category

Published:  15 December, 2023

Campari Group is set acquire Courvoisier from Beam Suntory, adding what the company describes as a “fourth major leg” to its spirits portfolio.

If successful, the cognac will join Campari’s aperitif, bourbon and tequila brands, in a move aimed at strengthening its reach in key markets at the premium end.

In a statement released today (15 December), Campari said that this “World renowned brand and global icon of luxury provides the opportunity to build leverage in one of the most relevant spirit categories in the US and transform Campari Group’s growth profile in Asia and GTR via expansion of its footprint of luxury expressions”.

Campari is in exclusive negotiations with Beam Suntory to acquire 100% of the share capital of Courvoisier, at an enterprise value of US$1.3bn (£1bn) on a cash and debt free basis.

The cognac brand’s net sales in 2022 were US$249m, according to the seller.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO at Campari Group, said: ‘We are very pleased to acquire a top four historical cognac house, Courvoisier, with great latent equity and highly acclaimed expressions.

“The addition of Courvoisier cognac to our portfolio of global priorities is a rare and unique opportunity to expand our premium spirits portfolio and cognac offering. By leveraging our heavy cognac expertise… Campari Group has a fantastic opportunity to reinforce this brand’s credentials as a global icon of luxury.”

Matteo Fantacchiotti, Campari Group’s deputy CEO, added: ‘In what is the biggest deal in Campari Group’s history, Courvoisier will enable a significant step up in the US while also permitting long-term transformational potential in the strategic Asia-Pacific region.”

Courvoisier, which was founded in 1828 by Felix Courvoisier in Jarnac, is the youngest of the so called ‘big four’ cognac houses, known for its VS, VSOP and XO expressions, plus its premium range of limited editions.

If the deal is approved by the appropriate French authorities, it is expected to close in 2024.