Campari Becomes Player In Premium Rum With LdM AcquisitionSeptember 4, 2012
Italy’s Gruppo Campari has become a major player in the rising premium rum category with the acquisition of Jamaica’s Lascelles deMercado & Co. (LdM). Yesterday, Campari agreed to acquire 81.4% of LdM from Trinidad and Tobago-based conglomerate CL Financial (the remainder of LdM not included in the deal is currently involved in a divestment process). The purchase price will be roughly $415 million, making it the third-largest acquisition in Campari’s history, behind Skyy Spirits (in 2001) and Wild Turkey (2009).
LdM sells roughly 3.5 million cases of spirits and wine annually (with sales of about $265 million for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011), with rum accounting for slightly more than half of that figure. Domestic and export sales each account for about 50% of its business. The Appleton rum franchise leads LdM’s export efforts, accounting for more than half of the company’s sales and dominating its export business in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which collectively account for nearly 25% of LdM’s sales. According to Impact Databank, Appleton sells 150,000 cases in the U.S., 300,000 cases in Canada and 270,000 cases in Mexico.
In the U.S., Appleton is firmly positioned in the premium-plus segment, with its offerings generally ranging from $16 a 750-ml. to more than $50 for its Appleton Estate 30-year-old. Earlier this year, Appleton importer Kobrand Corp. (which assumed the brand’s U.S. marketing rights from Brown-Forman in 2008) released a limited-edition 50-year-old variant packaged in a Glencairn crystal decanter that sells for $5,000 a bottle.
While Campari is one of the world’s biggest spirits marketers, with annual sales of more than 20 million cases, it has lacked a significant presence in rum. The one rum brand it owns—Rum de Antilles—is a small brand that does most of its business in Italy, and Flor de Caña, a Nicaraguan rum handled by Campari USA as a third-party brand, sold 84,000 cases in 2011.
Tagged : Gruppo Campari, rum, spirits