By Mauro Orru


Davide Campari-Milano has entered into exclusive negotiations with Beam Suntory to acquire the owner of Courvoisier cognac for up to $1.32 billion, paving the way for a significant step up in the U.S. market in what the group said would be the largest deal in its history.

The Italian distiller said Thursday that the talks with Beam Suntory were aimed at acquiring Beam Holding France, which owns Courvoisier, for a fixed purchase price of $1.20 billion on a cash- and debt-free basis, with an additional payment of up to $120 million expected in 2029 upon the achievement of a 2028 net sales target.

"The addition of Courvoisier cognac to our portfolio of global priorities is a rare and unique opportunity to expand our premium spirits portfolio and cognac offering," said Campari Chief Executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

Founded in 1828 by Felix Courvoisier in Jarnac, in the Charente region of France, Courvoisier received the title of official supplier to the House of the Emperor by Napoleon III, becoming a drink of choice during the Belle Epoque.

The business in 2022 netted sales of $249 million, of which roughly 60% came from the U.S., Courvoisier's largest market, followed by the U.K. and China.

"In what is the biggest deal in Campari Group's history, Courvoisier will enable a significant step up in the U.S. while also permitting long-term transformational potential in the strategic Asia-Pacific region," said Deputy CEO Matteo Fantacchiotti.

Campari said signing of the transaction is subject to consultations with French employees' representatives, and that it expects a deal to close in 2024.


Write to Mauro Orru at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 14, 2023 13:14 ET (18:14 GMT)

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