Campari Group, known for its line of premium aperitifs, is diversifying its portfolio by adding a premium whiskey brand. Bourbon is projected to become the second major focus of the Italian company, according to an Oct. 31 press release.
On Monday, the company announced an agreement to purchase a 70 percent stake in Wilderness Trail Distillery, LLC for $420 million. The company will acquire the remaining 30 percent stake in 2031.
The premium craft distillery, launched in 2012, is headquartered in Danville, Ky. It initially offered two core super-premium expressions: Wilderness Trail Bourbon and Wilderness Trail Rye Whiskey. Across the brand’s now-expanded portfolio, expressions range in price from $55 to over $75.
The entire acquisition is valued at $600 million; as part of this deal, Campari Group will receive the distillery’s production facilities and warehouse spaces.
“By adding the fast-growing super-premium Wilderness Trail brand we further expand and premiumize our bourbon offering, priming it to become Campari Group’s second major leg after the aperitif portfolio,” Campari Group chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz states in the release. “Moreover, we accelerate our premiumization journey, further enriching our RARE portfolio, the division aimed to unlock and accelerate the growth potential of a select range of high-end individual expressions in our core premium spirits markets.”
In addition to the recent acquisition of Wilderness Trail, Campari Group also owns whiskey brands Wild Turkey and Howler Head. This is the second-largest acquisition by Campari Group after its purchase of Grand Marnier in 2016, according to Reuters.
The deal is expected to close in Dec. 2022.
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