Italy’s Campari Group to enter champagne sector with Lallier acquisition

The Campari Group is set to become the first Italian company to own a Champagne brand.  Announced last week, Campari has entered into negotiations to acquire French company Ficoma, to acquire 80% of the shares of Champagne Lallier, and other group companies, with a view to total ownership. Campari’s shares ended up 2.9% after the announcement, outperforming a 1.7% gain in Milan’s blue-chip index.FTMIB.

Ficoma sold one million bottles of Champagne in 2019, including 700,000 bottles of Lallier.

If the negotiations lead to a sale, it will mark the entry of the first Italian player into the Champagne category.

Ficoma is the family holding of Francis Tribaut, the heir to four generations of winemakers and Champagne producers in France’s Marne region. The Champagne brand Lallier was founded in 1906 in Aÿ, one of the few villages classified as ‘Grand Cru’ in Champagne.

The potential transaction scope includes the brands, related stocks, and real estate assets including owned and operated vineyards, and production facilities.

Campari Group, founded in 1860, is the sixth-largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, trading in more than 190 countries. Campari owns 21 plants worldwide and has its own distribution network in 21 countries.

The company’s growth strategy is to combine organic growth through strong brand building and external growth via selective acquisitions of brands and businesses.

The company has a portfolio of more than 50 premium and super-premium brands, including Aperol, Campari, SKYY, Grand Marnier, Wild Turkey and Appleton Estate.

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