Campari has been awarded the US distribution rights for, and has been given first refusal on the acquisition of, Martin Miller's London Dry Gin. The distribution deal, which takes effect from next month, will go through Campari's American subsidiary Skyy Spirits.

An agreement signed between Reformed Spirits Company, the brand owner. and Davide Campari-Milano grants the group an option to acquire the brand from January 2009 at a price based on sales levels attained in 2008.

Reformed Spirits Company has not been granted any equivalent put option, Campari said in a statement. The call price will vary between US$240 and US$300 per 9-litre case sold in the US, depending on sales levels, whilst for international sales the price will be US$480 per case. Lower prices will be applied for sales in the duty-free channel. An absolute price-floor of US$8m is also foreseen.

Referring to both the distribution deal and the launch of ultra premium vodka Skyy90, also announced today, the group's CEO, Enzo Visone, said: "Both of these commercial initiatives confirm our commitment to strengthen our position in the US, which is a key market for the international growth strategy of the Campari Group."

In particular, the company added, the launch of Skyy90 and the distribution agreement for Martin Miller's gin in the US, both at the earliest stages of development, represent "a major expansion opportunity in the ultra premium category, by adding brand names and product categories to the group's portfolio. The inclusion of the gin and vodka brands within the ultra premium segment allows the Campari group to further enhance its already extensive portfolio."

Campari owns an 89% stake in Skyy Spirits.