Italy's Campari buys Canadian whisky firm

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Italy's Campari buys Canadian whisky firm
Campari has bought Canada’s Forty Creek Distillery. Photo: Filippo Giunchedi/Flickr

Italian drinks group Campari, one of the world’s biggest firms in the market of premium spirits, has said it will buy Canada’s Forty Creek Distillery (FCD) in a deal worth €125.5 million.


Campari, best known for its bitter red aperitif of the same name, said the move would allow it to gain a stronger foothold in the Canadian market while help position it for further growth in the United States.

"Through this acquisition we enter the very large and appealing Canadian Whisky category, thus premiumizing our brand portfolio, driving a richer product mix and further leveraging the revival of brown spirits," Jean Jacques Dubau, the company’s managing director for North America, said in a statement.

FCD was founded by John Hall in 1992 and produces whisky, vodka, brandy, rum and liqueurs.

The all-cash deal is expected to close on June 2nd.

Gruppo Campari was founded in 1860 by Gaspare Campari, who by the age of 14 was a master drinks maker at the Bass Bar in Turin, a major commercial hub for aperitif drinks.

His recipe included more than 60 natural ingredients such as herbs, spices and fruit peels, although the complete recipe still remains confidential.

The takeover announcement came a few hours before Campari, which also makes Aperol, Cinzano and Frangelico, said that net profit for 2013 fell 4.4 percent to €149.8 million.

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