Above: Appleton is Jamaica’s premier rum brand
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Italian spirits company Gruppo Campari has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in spirits company Lascelles deMercado & Co., Ltd, the company announced in a release Monday.
Lascelles deMercado is based in Kingston, Jamaica. Its portfolio includes the Appleton Estate, Appleton Special/White, Wray & Nephew and Coruba brands.
The 81.4 percent stake came at a total cost of $414.8 million on a cash-free/debt-free basis. It is the third-largest acquisition in Campari’s history, following its purchases of the Wild Turkey and Skyy Spirits brands.
The acquisition will be made through a formal tender to LdM’s board.
“With Lascelles de Mercado, the award-winning distiller of world-class premium dark, overproof and gold Jamaican rums, we are once again leveraging our acquisition framework in a very disciplined and consistent manner for future growth,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO at Campari.
The company said the purchase would help develop a “critical mass” in markets such as the US, Canada, Mexico and Jamaica.
“The addition of Appleton, Wray & Nephew and Coruba rum brands as well as a portfolio of local Jamaican brands will help us build our critical mass further in key North American markets, provide a leading market position in Jamaica, a major destination in the Caribbean, whilst laying the foundations for future international growth across all major usage occasions of the growing and premiumising [sic] rum category,” he said.