Campari Acquires Controlling Stake in Jamaica’s Appleton, Wray & Nephew

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.