ITALY: Davide Campari-Milano eyes V&S seconds

By | 8 April 2008

Davide Campari-Milano would consider buying brands that Pernod Ricard might sell off following its acquisition of Vin & Sprit, according to an interview with the Italian company's CEO.

Speaking to Reuters yesterday (7 April), Bob Kunze-Concewitz said that he will be on the lookout to see what comes on to the market from Pernod, once the French firm has sealed its purchase of V&S. Reports in the last few days have suggested that Pernod will sell off V&S's Plymouth gin brand.

Kunze-Concewitz told the news service: "We don't have a gin ... and Plymouth is a nice brand. Overall, we look at anything that comes on the market. We're pretty open-minded."

Pernod said late last week, however, that it has no plans to sell any brands unless it is instructed, to settle anti-trust issues. Reports have claimed that Plymouth gin would have to be sold, since Pernod already owns the Beefeater and Seagrams's gin brands.

Last year, Kunze-Concewitz said that, whilst buying the Absolut vodka brand from the Swedish government is out of its reach, the possible sale of the state-owned company could present some appealing opportunities.

When asked at the time if Campari would be interested in the sales process, Kunze-Concewitz said: "No, this is a deal for big players. But it could represent a great opportunity also for us. It shuffles the cards and different scenarios could emerge."

Kunze-Concewitz also said that the main contenders, may need to sell one of their current brands to avoid anti-trust issues. Alternatively the "big players" may need to sell brands to raise funds or may even require local distributors. "That is how we could enter the scene," he added.

Last September, Gruppo Campari, of which Davide_Campari-Milano is the parent company, posted a 7.9% lift in operating profit for the six months to the end of June, hitting EUR92.7m (US$127.8m) for the period. Net sales for the half-year were up by 5.4% to EUR40.6m.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Pernod, Campari, Ricard, Absolut, Gruppo Campari

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