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Campari Buys French Brand Picon For €119m

Campari has agreed to acquire French bitter aperitif brand Picon and related assets from Diageo for around €119 million ($125.7 million), the Italian drinks group said on Tuesday.

With this deal the maker of Aperol and Campari bitters strengthens its position in France, the group's fourth largest market, in line with other recent acquisitions including French rums Trois Rivières annd La Mauny, and Champagne Lallier, it said in a statement.

Premium Spirits Group

Campari, which is the sixth largest premium spirits group globally, also widens its brand offering in its core bitter aperitifs category in international markets when Moët Hennessy is marketing its Moët Garden Spritz aperitif to challenge Aperol Spritz.

Picon is currently available in two versions - Amer Picon Club, an orange-based liqueur to be mixed with wine and cocktails, and Amer Picon Bière, to be mixed with beer.

The Picon transaction was funded via available cash.

Sales Jump

Campari said on 4 May that sales jumped in the first three months of the year thanks to strong demand for its aperitifs as drinkers returned to bars in Europe.

Revenue came in at €535 million ($561 million) in the first quarter, up 29% on a like-for-like basis, more than double the increase pencilled in by analysts.

Shares in Campari were up 3.4% at 1015 GMT, outperforming a 1% gain posted by Milan's main index. .

Sales of Aperol, which is the group's best-selling product and the key ingredient for the Spritz cocktail, rose 72% in the period boosted by strong consumption in Italy in particular.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Drinks stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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