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Campari Enters Canadian Whisky Category With €120.5 Million Acquisition

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Campari Enters Canadian Whisky Category With €120.5 Million Acquisition

Campari Enters Canadian Whisky Category With €120.5 Million Acquisition
March 13
14:36 2014

Italian drinks group Gruppo Campari has agreed to acquire Forty Creek Distillery, a leading independently owned spirits company in Canada. This transaction marks the Campari’s first move into the growing and attractive Canadian whisky category with high-end premium products.

The total purchase price for 100% of FCD is C$185.6 million (€120.5 million) on a cash free/debt free basis. This corresponds to an EBITDA multiple of 14.5x.

With its flagship brand Forty Creek Whisky, FCD is the fastest growing player in the Canadian whisky category inCanada. Moreover, it is well positioned in the key US market to capitalize on the high potential offered by the Canadian whisky category.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive of Gruppo Campari, says: “Via the entry to the large and growing Canadian whisky segment this acquisition further increases our exposure to the highly attractive brown spirits category whilst continuing to enhance our premium portfolio. Moreover, the addition of FCD will enable us to further build our critical mass in key North American markets, providing us with a strong market position inCanadaand positioning us for further growth in our core US market. At the same time, our international route to market will also enable the Forty Creek whisky brand to grow faster out of its core North American market. Lastly, through this acquisition we will also be able to internalise key activities in the Canadian market.’

The acquired business includes the full portfolio of FCD including stocks, the distillery and manufacturing facilities and a Hospitality Center located in Grimsby, Ontario.

FCD brand portfolio includes whisky, vodka, brandy, rum and liqueurs, with Forty Creek Whisky as its core brand. The Forty Creek whisky family includes Barrel Select, Copper Pot Reserve, Forty Creek Cream Whisky and offers high-end, limited releases including Forty Creek Confederation Oak, Double Barrel and an annual special John K. Hall Reserve release. Forty Creek whiskies won 3-Time Canadian Whisky of the Year champion at the Canadian Whisky Awards (2010-12) and recently captured five gold medals as Best Tasting Whiskies at the Beverage Testing Institute competition in Chicago (2014).

In fiscal year ending 31 March 2013, the acquired business achieved total net sales of C$34.2 million, of which Forty Creek Whisky represents around 62%. In fiscal year ending 31 March 2014, the acquired business is expecting to achieve total net sales of C$ 39.5 million, showing an increase of +15.6% compared to the previous year.

The transaction is expected to close on 2 June 2014. The consideration will be fully paid in cash.

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