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Grand Marnier Sold To Campari For $760 Million

March 15, 2016

Gruppo Campari is poised to gain control of venerable French liqueur brand Grand Marnier through a friendly takeover. The Italian drinks group has reached an agreement with the controlling family shareholders of Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle S.A. (SPML) for the acquisition of a controlling stake.

Under the terms of the deal, Campari is acquiring 17% of SPML immediately, and plans to gain control via a tender offer on the French stock exchange valuing SPML at €684 million ($760m). If Campari fails to gain more than half the shares and voting rights of SPML through the tender offer, the family shareholders have agreed to sell their remaining shares and voting rights to give Campari a controlling stake. Meanwhile, on July 1, Campari will assume global distribution rights for SPML’s spirits brands, including Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, Cherry Marnier, Louis Alexandre, Cuvée du Centenaire, Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire and Quintessence.

According to Impact Databank, Grand Marnier is the eighth-largest liqueur brand in the U.S., with volume up 3% to 500,000 cases last year. The brand is currently handled by Moet Hennessy in the U.S. market, which accounts for about 60% of Grand Marnier’s €152 million ($169m) in annual sales.

The addition of Grand Marnier bolsters Gruppo Campari’s already strong position in liqueurs, joining its namesake brand as well as portfoliomates Aperol, Frangelico, Cynar, Averna and Braulio. Campari posted sales up 3% to €1.7 billion ($1.9b) for 2015, with its U.S. business growing 3.7%, led by Wild Turkey Bourbon.

In a statement, Campari described Grand Marnier as a high-margin brand that will allow it to capitalize on the “growing interest in specialties and liqueurs in the premium on-premise channel, particularly in the U.S.”

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