A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The Italian company signed an agreement with members of the CL Financial group of companies to acquire an 81.4% ownership in Lascelles deMercado & Co, a publicly traded holding company, based in Kingston, Jamaica. The total purchase price for 100% of LdM’s share capital is US$ 414.8m (approximately € 330 million).
This is the third largest acquisition for Campari, following Wild Turkey and Skyy Spirits and completion of the deal is expected in Q4 of 2012.
Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive office said: "The addition of the Appleton, Wray & Nephew and Coruba rum brands as well as a portfolio of local Jamaican brands will help us build our critical mass further in key North American markets, provide a leading market position in Jamaica, a major destination in the Caribbean, whilst laying the foundations for future international growth across all major usage occasions of the growing and premiumising rum category. When completed, this acquisition will give a further boost to the internationalisation of Gruppo Campari, further expanding our business outside of Italy, as well as strengthening our largest and most profitable business, the spirits segment."
In fiscal year ended September 30, 2011, the rum and spirits portfolio that Campari is set to acquire achieved total sales volume of 3.5 million 9 litre cases.
The deal also includes local brands, distillery facilities, sugar cane fields and the complete inventory of aged rum. The deal does not include Lascelles deMercado’s other assets - including insurance and transport companies - these are to be divested.