Campari is set to acquire Courvoisier Cognac from the US-Japanese spirits group Beam Suntory in a deal valued at $1.32bn. This represents the largest acquisition by the Italian spirits group, as leading cognac makers, including Courvoisier, report decreased sales due to slowing consumer demand.
Courvoisier ranks as the fourth-largest cognac producer globally, following Hennessy (LVMH-owned), Rémy Martin, and D’Ussé.
The Financial Times says Campari’s CEO, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, views the current downturn as “temporary” and expresses optimism about the brand’s medium and long-term prospects. He believes that acquiring such a premium maison in the current market is a strategic move.
While cognac experienced a surge in popularity among Americans during Covid-19 lockdowns and the initial reopening of bars, demand has since declined.
Campari’s diverse portfolio includes Skyy Vodka, Wild Turkey whiskey, Bulldog gin, and flagship red-orange aperitifs Campari and Aperol.
Courvoisier sales predominantly American
Courvoisier‘s sales heavily rely on the US, constituting 60% of total sales. The acquisition aligns with Campari’s strategic priority to expand its presence in the American market. Kunze-Concewitz also anticipates strengthened positions in the Asia-Pacific region, where cognac demand is rising, and in the UK.
This is the 28th acquisition during Kunze-Concewitz’s tenure as he aims for Campari to enhance its position in the luxury spirits market.
Courvoisier will join a portfolio that includes Bisquit cognac and Grand Marnier. Kunze-Concewitz projects that Courvoisier alone will contribute 8% to the group’s total sales, a significant increase from Bisquit’s current 1%.