Campari takes whisky brands off Pernod Ricard

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Scotch whisky, Whisky, Pernod ricard, Scotch whisky association

Italian drinks group Campari has been rubbing its hands together
after Pernod Ricard agreed to sell it the world's number two single
malt whisky brand Glen Grant.

The move comes as part of Pernod Ricard's obligation to sell off certain drinks brands, under orders from the European Commission, after buying up UK drinks group Allied Domecq.

The deal marks Campari's first move into what it called the "key Scotch Whisky segment"​ and will also give the Italian firm control of the Glen Grant distillery in Rothes, Scotland.

Campari paid €115m for Glen Grant and around €15m for Old Smuggler and Braemer brands combined. Sales for the three brands are thought to be worth around €40m.

Glen Grant, established in 1840, is the leading single malt whisky in Italy and sells 350,000 nine-litre cases internationally every year.

Campari chief executive Enzo Visone said Scotch whisky was "one of the most important spirits categories in the world, a segment with great potential internationally as well as in the domestic market"​.

The group said Old Smuggler had a good position in the US, Argentina and Eastern Europe, while Braemer was big in Eastern Europe too, and also Thailand.

Recent results published by the Scotch Whisky Association also suggest now is a good time to get in to the segment.

The trade body said a rise in exports to China, mainly due to Chinese people drinking a combo of whisky and green tea, had helped Scotch whisky exports pass the £1bn barrier in the first half of 2005.

It is the first time Scotch Whisky exports have topped £1bn since 1997 and, similar to beer, growth in emerging markets managed to offset problems in Western Europe.

Total exports were up three per cent in value and two per cent in volume compared to the first half of 2004, yet serious declines were seen in Germany and Spain - down 32 and 16 per cent in value respectively.

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