Campari Said To Weigh Sale Of Irish Whiskey, Cream, To Raise Cash
Davide Campari-Milano SpA is exploring a sale of its Irish Mist whiskey and Irish-cream Carolans brands, as the Italian drinks-maker seeks to streamline its portfolio and raise cash, according to people familiar with the matter.
Campari is working with advisers at Perella Weinberg Partners on the potential disposal, which could draw interest from other spirits companies and private-equity firms, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. No final decision has been made, and sale considerations are at an early stage, the people said.
Representatives for Milan-based Campari and Perella declined to comment.
Campari, whose Aperol liqueur is mixed with soda water and prosecco in Spritz cocktails, reported that sales of the bitter orange spirit jumped 18% in the first quarter, helping group revenue beat estimates. An Italian institution, the Aperol Spritz has become internationally popular in recent years, helped by Campari’s increased marketing.
Chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in an interview earlier this month that he is confident of delivering a positive performance for the full year, in both revenue and profit terms. A sale of Irish Mist and Carolans would help the company offset some of the costs of its acquisition of Grand Marnier, the liqueur that it bought for €684 million ($765 million) last year.
Campari bought Irish Mist and Carolans, along with premium Italian hazelnut liqueur Frangelico, from William Grant & Sons for €129 million in 2010.