MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Campari (CPRI.MI) signed an agreement to buy cognac brand Bisquit from South Africa’s Distell group (DSTJ.J) in a move aimed at further broadening its premium spirit portfolio.
The Italian group, whose French liqueur Grand Marnier contains cognac as its main ingredient, said it would pay 52.2 million euros ($62 million) for the business, which dates back almost 200 years.
“Thanks to the super premium brand Bisquit cognac and its strong heritage, we further enhance our premium brands portfolio, driving a richer product mix,” Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in a statement.
With the acquisition, the world’s sixth-largest premium spirit maker also hopes to increase its growth potential in the United States and China, two markets where sales of premium cognac are on the rise.
China, where Campari currently sells mainly its vodka brand, has recently cut its import tariffs on a range of food and beverage products including cognac.
The Milan-based company said it bought Bisquit’s trademarks, production facilities and inventory, including maturing stock valued at around 33 million euros.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Crispian Balmer