Italian food and beverage group Illva Saronno Holding has acquired the remaining share of domestic gin brand Engine after buying a minority stake in 2021.

Engine was launched by Paolo Dalla Mora in 2021 through his marketing and communication consultancy Dalla Mora & Partners. Its distinctive packaging resembles an oil can.

Illva Saronno bought a 25% stake in Engine in 2021 as part of a global distribution agreement.

The Disaronno brand owner bought the remaining 75% for an undisclosed amount this week.

“The decision to acquire Engine is an integral part of our corporate strategy, aimed at offering excellent products globally. Engine appeals to an international audience, positioning itself as a distinctive product in the gin landscape,” Illva Saronno Holding CEO Aldino Marzorati said.

“A young brand enters the Illva Saronno Holding family, synonymous with innovation and quality, and we are confident this will help strengthen our positioning for an increasingly diversified and premium product portfolio.”

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Illva Saronno plans to expand the brand’s export footprint following the deal. The group operates in 160 countries.

Engine will continue to be distributed by Genoa-headquartered spirits company Velier, Illva Saronno said. In the UK it is distributed by Illva Saronno subsidiary Disaronno International UK.

Engine’s founder Dalla Mora said: “For me, this is a dream come true. I started Engine at the age of 40, after a career as a manager in large companies, from an idea in a garage.

“I launched the first can in Italy in May 2019, and by April 2021, it had become a successful small multinational, now present in over 30 markets. It’s every marketer’s dream to see their strategies solidify globally, and it’s every entrepreneur’s dream to achieve a successful exit.”

Dalla Mora is leaving the company to focus on his family but said he will remain active in the food and spirits industry through venture capital “endeavours”.

Founded in 1986, Illva Saronno is owned and operated by the Reina Family. Illva Saronno produces the liqueur brands Disaronno and Tia Maria, as well as The Busker whiskey and wine brands Florio, Corvo and Duca di Salaparuta. The group also runs a real-estate holdings firm headquartered in New Jersey, US.

Last year, Illva Saronno appointed former Gruppo Montenegro CEO Marco Ferrari to replace outgoing CEO Aldino Marzorati, who held the position since 2019.