Campari has announced that it would fund partner Tannico's purchase of French wine e-shop Ventealapropriete.com (VAP) as the Italian group taps into rising online alcohol sales.
Demand from housebound consumers during COVID-19 lockdowns has fuelled growth at e-retailers such as Tannico, whose revenue rose 82% rise last year, and VAP, which sells premium domestic and international wines, as well as high-end spirits in France.
But Campari, which makes the Aperol aperitif and Campari bitter, expects the trend to last even as vaccine rollouts mean bars across Europe once again fill with people.
'Strategic E-Commerce Channel'
'With this funding, Campari Group confirms its commitment to the strategic e-commerce channel, set to continue to grow strongly thanks to the positive trend in the home consumption of spirits cocktails,' it said in a statement.
Campari said it was ready to underwrite up to 100% of a €32 million ($39 million) capital increase by Tannico to fund the purchase of 68.5% of VAP.
Tannico's acquisition of VAP, which was founded in 2008 and last year posted revenue of €34.5 million, is expected to close by the end of July.
Last year, Campari bought 49% of Tannico, which operates in 20 markets worldwide, to boost its online business amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Recently, Italy's Campari reported first quarter sales of €398 million, beating like-for-like sales expectations, helped by growing spirits consumption in the United States and northern Europe.
Sales increased 17.9% year on year on an organic basis, stripping out currency swings and acquisitions or asset disposals, against analyst expectations of 6% - 7%.