Aperitif-maker Campari buys after-dinner delight Averna

Acquisition of household Italian brand brings new products

(ANSA) - Rome, April 15 - Italian beverage giant Campari continued to expand its line of popular products with the announcement Tuesday of the purchase of 100% of Fratelli Averna SpA, an iconic maker of after-dinner drinks.
    The price tag for the Sicily-based distiller was 103.75 million euros, with 98 million euros paid immediately, the companies said.
    Averna, founded 150 years ago, produces the popular household 'amaro' liqueur, and with the acquisition, Campari also adds Fratelli Averna's other after-dinner drinks to its holdings, including the herb-based bitters Braulio, Limoncetta and Frattina.
    As well, Campari - best-known for its signature red aperitif - gains Averna, the second best-selling liquer in Italy.
    The company's limoncello is especially popular, made with the peel of high-grade lemons from Italy's popular Sorrento area, as is the Grappa Frattina of Pordenone. Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive officer of Campari, emphasized the role of brand-name recognition in the industry in a statement on the Fratelli Averna deal.
    "Adding a portfolio of brands with high quality, high margin and strong cash generation capability, this acquisition represents a great opportunity for us to leverage our international route-to-market for profitable growth, in line with our acquisition strategy," he said of the purchase, which is expected to close in June.
    That includes expanding in Germany and other parts of central Europe as well as in North America, where Campari sees growth potential from interest in mixed drinks including Italian bitters and liqueurs. In a statement, the Averna family said it was confident the deal will help to ensure the authenticity of its made-in-Italy brands.
    "Today we pass the leadership of our business to Gruppo Campari, who has very deep roots in Italian traditions and values in the beverage sector with more than 150 years history," the family said. "We are confident that Gruppo Campari will efficiently develop the business that has been managed by five generations of our family, who first of all associated its name with the iconic bitter product, and developed other high quality products as well".


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