Blog: Chris MercerWilliam Grant & Sons makes fast work of Campari deal

Chris Mercer | 21 September 2010

William Grant & Sons says that it always planned to develop the liqueur brands it acquired from C&C Group alongside Tullamore Dew whiskey, but that the offer from Campari was too good. Do we believe this?

No sooner had the ink dried on William Grant's deal with C&C Group and Frangelico, Carolans and Irish Mist liqueurs were being farmed out to a new home in northern Italy for EUR129m (US$167.6m).

William Grant has been left with Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, the brand that it arguably wanted all along. Both William Grant and Campari said that they got a good price in the subsequent liqueurs deal. William Grant's CEO, Stella David, also stressed that her firm did not go looking for a sale.

Something doesn't add up here.

Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said of the deal: "The price of 7.5 times EBITDA is attractive. When you consider in our industry that the average of all the deals that have happened since 2004 has been 17 times - clearly it's a good deal."

William Grant, on the other hand, said that Campari offered it a "very attractive price" for the brands. If that's true, then William Grant can't have thought much of Frangelico and co in the first place, can it?


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