Campari Has Taste For More M&A After Courvoisier Deal: CEO

By Reuters
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Campari Has Taste For More M&A After Courvoisier Deal: CEO

Campari will seek further M&A opportunities after completing the buyout of French cognac house Courvoisier, the new head of the Italian drinks group said.

The group completed the €1.22-billion ($1.3 billion) acquisition of Courvoisier earlier than expected by analysts. It was the largest ever deal for Campari, whose brands include the Aperol aperitif, Espolon tequila and Wild Turkey whisky.

"Our M&A activity will continue after Courvoisier, our strategy is still to grow both organically and inorganically", chief executive Matteo Fantacchiotti told Reuters in an interview.

"What I can tell you is that we have as always a lot of dossiers open and some negotiations that are reasonably advanced", said Fantacchiotti, who took the helm of the company in April, replacing longstanding head Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

The company reported a 4.9% drop in operating profit in the first quarter, broadly in line with expectations in what is a relatively quiet time of the year.


Spritz Still In Demand

Fantacchiotti said he saw further scope for growth in sales of Aperol Spritz, while also highlighting the Espolon Paloma cocktail and non-alcoholic Crodino as other drinks likely to prove popular over the summer.

"We remain confident about continued growth momentum to deliver profitable growth", he said.

Fantacchiotti said Campari remained "really confident" over the group's ability to grow in China as part of a long term strategy, also thanks to Courvoisier, which makes about 9% of its sales in the country.

Beijing opened an anti-dumping investigation into brandy imported from the European Union, potentially exposing cognac makers to tariffs on their products.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for what he called 'his open attitude' in the probe.

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