Campari acquires Wild Turkey, world's number 1 premium Kentucky bourbon whiskey


  • Acquisition of Wild Turkey, the number 1 premium Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey
  • Campari’s largest acquisition to date
  • A unique opportunity to enter the attractive and growing bourbon whiskey category
  • High quality brand franchise with strong upside potential
  • Significantly strengthens critical mass and portfolio appeal in highly profitable US market
  • Provides foundation for establishing distribution platform in attractive Australian market
  • Purchase price of US$ 575 million (or € 433 million at current exchange rate)

Milan, 8 April 2009 - Gruppo Campari announces it has signed an agreement to acquire Wild Turkey from Pernod Ricard, marking the largest acquisition in Campari’s history and cementing its position as a leading company in the US and international premium spirits markets.

The acquired business includes the Wild Turkey brands, American Honey liqueur, distillery facilities in Kentucky, USA, and aged liquid and finished product inventory.

The total purchase price for the acquisition is US$ 575 million (or € 433 million at current exchange rate), corresponding to 9.7 times the historic CAAP (Contribution after Advertising and Promotion expenses) and 12 times the expected EBITDA in the first 12 months following the deal’s closing. The transaction, subject to antitrust approvals, is expected to close prior to June 30, 2009 and the consideration will be paid for in cash.

Following this acquisition, the weight of the Group’s businessoutside Italy is expected to increase to almost two-thirds of its sales.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer: “With Wild Turkey Campari adds a brand of strategic relevance to its portfolio and further enhances its premium offering. This acquisition is another key step in the building of a leading player in the global spirits industry. It is a unique opportunity to enter the attractive bourbon whiskey category and exploit its growth potential through a global and leading brand. The transaction demonstrates our commitment, in line with our strategy, of continuing growth in the profitable US spirits market. In addition, Campari expands its presence in key international markets such as Australia, where the acquisition provides the foundation for establishing its own distribution platform, and Japan.”

This deal is the fourth acquisition concluded by Campari in the USA, after SKYY Vodka (2002), Cabo Wabo (2007) and X-Rated (2007). With Wild Turkey, the total investment by Campari in US acquisitions amounts to USD 1.1 billion (€ 0.9 billion). Together with the Company’s long term approach to business, this underlines its solidity, extremely robust cash flow generation as well as a strong capital structure.

Wild Turkey is a global brand with a total volume above 800,000 nine-liter cases sold in over 60 markets. The US is the brand’s largest market, accounting for almost one-half of the brand’s sales; Australia and Japan are respectively its second and third largest markets. The brand enjoys a successful track record of continuous growth in its category in key geographic markets. The American straight whiskey is a dynamic spirits category, with a premium and super premium offering driving the growth in the US as well as in the international markets.

In addition, the acquisition brings Wild Turkey American Honey, a honey and bourbon based liqueur, a successful new entry into the premium US cordial category and a substantial growth opportunity.

Wild Turkey has a unique brand image built around values of authenticity, distinctive flavour and taste, and genuine and uncompromising brand positioning. These characteristics enable it to be positioned in the premium segment globally. Wild Turkey has all the attributes - authenticity, premiumness, heritage - to successfully exploit its category and market growth potential.

The transaction will be financed through credit facilities underwritten by four major banks: Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Calyon and Intesa San Paolo. Legal advisors are Morrison & Foerster on the transaction and Allen & Overy on the funding. 

Publishing date: 
08 Apr 2009


Last updated May 06 2013