UK drinks giant Allied Domecq said today it has acquired family-owned business Kuemmerling, Germany's fourth-largest spirits brand for DM398m (US$185m).

Commenting on the acquisition, Allied's chief executive Philip Bowman said: "The acquisition of Kuemmerling represents a significant addition to our existing operations in Germany, Europe's largest spirits market, where Allied Domecq will now rank as the fourth largest spirits company.

"This latest acquisition is in line with Allied Domecq's strategy of pursuing sustainable growth in profits rather than merely chasing increased volume."

Bowman continued: "This deal and the acquisition of Montana mark a particularly satisfactory way to end our financial year. Our determination not to chase size for size's sake has enabled the company to adapt more quickly to the changing market conditions being experienced by the sector as whole."

Kuemmerling, which sold some 680,000 cases in the year to 31st December 2000 is also Germany's second-largest brand in the bitters category. Allied has said it expects to achieve immediate operational synergies as the business is merged with its existing German operations.

Strategic Review 2000 Allied Domecq