Campari Buys Grand Marnier For About $759M

Gruppo Campari to pay a 60% premium to the target's current share price.
Katie Kuehner-HebertMarch 15, 2016

Italy’s Gruppo Campari on Tuesday said that it was launching “a friendly takeover offer” for Grand Marnier to capitalize on the classic cocktail renaissance, particularly in the United States.

The Milan-based spirits company said it had reached an agreement with the controlling family shareholders of the French-listed company Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML) for the deal, worth 684 million euros (about $759 million).

“As a key ingredient in many classic cocktails and a must-have premium brand in classic cocktail bars, Grand Marnier strengthens our quest to further capitalize on the revival of classic cocktails, particularly in the U.S.,” Campari’s chief executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in a press release. “Importantly, a global trend unleashed in the U.S. with mixologists and premium consumers showing growing interest in specialties and liqueurs in the on-premise channel.”

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Campari’s intent to cash in on the new trends has already been shown in its April 2014 deal for the owner of the Averna digestif brand, according to The Economic Times. The company currently owns around 50 brands including SKYY vodka and Glen Grant whisky and distributes in 190 countries.

Campari aims to take full control of the company via a tender offer at 8,050 euros per share in cash, implying a 60.4% premium to the current share price. SPML shareholders have agreed to hand over their remaining shares if Campari’s stake ends up less than 50.01% after the takeover.

The deal also includes an add-on linked to the sale of real estate in St Jean Cap Ferrat. Separately, Campari made a deal with SPML for the exclusive worldwide distribution of Grand Marnier.

Even after the deal closes, Campari would only have a 1% share in the global distillery market, according to San Francsico-based Demeter Group. In comparison, Diageo and Pernod Ricard control 21% of the market.

“The worldwide spirits industry is still fragmented compared to beer, even with the string of M&A activity in recent years,” Fortune wrote.