Milan, March 15 (IANS/AKI) Italian drinks firm Campari said on Tuesday it will buy French firm Grand Marnier for 684 million euros (approx $758.9 mn) “to further capitalise on the revival of classic cocktails, particularly in the US”.
Campari chief executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz described Grand Marnier as “a French icon, with a rich 150-year history”.
The liqueur, a blend of cognac and essence of bitter orange is much used in cocktails and desserts and is the star ingredient of the classic Crepe Suzette.
With the purchase of Grand Marnier, “we further consolidate our position as the leading purveyor of premium liqueurs and bitter specialties worldwide,” he added in the statement.
Under the deal, French-listed company Societe des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML)’s controlling family shareholders will hand over their remaining shares if Campari’s stake ends up less than 50.01 percent after the takeover, the statement said.
Campari in April 2014 announced it was buying the owner of the Averna digestif brand, saying it hoped for a boost from new trends in the US.
The spirits make owns around 50 brands including Glen Grant whisky and SKYY vodka and distributes in 190 countries.
Spirits companies globally have become increasingly focused on the US as they grapple with a slowdown in China and other emerging markets and sluggish sales in Western Europe.