Gruppo Campari Offloads Irish Liqueur Brands

Global spirits giant Gruppo Campari has sold the Carolans and Irish Mist brands to Heaven Hill Brands for $165 million US.

Under the terms of the deal Gruppo Campari will continue to handle distribution of the brands in international markets, while Heaven Hill – based in Bardstown, Kentucky – will look after the American market.

The Milan-based group initially purchased Carolans and Irish Mist as part of a larger portfolio back in 2010. Carolans is the world’s second largest-selling Irish cream liqueur whisky, whilst Irish Mist is the first liqueur to actually be produced in Ireland. Between them the brands were worth a total of €34 million in sales last year.

Said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Gruppo Campari CEO, “The sale of Carolans and Irish Mist is the largest disposal ever completed by the Group. We are very pleased to sign this transaction with Heaven Hill, a prominent spirits company in the US and a perfect fit for Carolans and Irish Mist.

“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.”

Heaven Hill President Max L Shapira also welcomed the news.

He remarked, “We are delighted to have worked with Gruppo Campari on this acquisition. Carolans and Irish Mist are great historic brands that are highly complementary to our broad portfolio of leading brands. We look forward to building on the strong success these brands have achieved both in the US and around the world.”

Gruppo Campari was founded in 1860 and has grown to be the sixth largest player in the global spirits industry. The group owns 18 plants worldwide and employs approximately 4,000 people. The priority brands which Mr Kunze-Concewitz spoke of focusing on include Skyy, Wild Turkey and Campari itself, the famous red liqueur often used in cocktails.

Heaven Hills, meanwhile, are America’s largest family-owned, independent spirit producer. Their portfolio of brands features Evan Williams Bourbon, Deep Eddy Vodka and Lunazul Tequila among others.

Category: Brand News
Tags: Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Carolans, Gruppo Campari, Heaven Hill, Irish Mist, Skyy, Wild Turkey