Campari to Acquire Courvoisier Cognac in 1.2 Billion Dollar Deal

With a portfolio of more than fifty brands, this strategic move by Campari solidifies its position as a key player in the spirits industry.

Jan 08, 2024 | By Sanjeeva Suresh

Campari celebrates the start of 2024 with the largest acquisition in the Italian spirit maker’s history. The purveyor of exclusive liquor prepares to purchase Courvoisier Cognac House from US-Japanese spirits group Beam Suntory in a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to buy one of the big four maisons of cognac,” according to chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

Why Now?

The move comes as Campari plans to position itself as a serious contender against competing spirit heavyweights — Diageo and Pernod Ricard while also strengthening Campari’s presence in the United States. The deal is expected to boost Campari’s net sales by approximately nine percent with an increase to earnings per share by two percent according to Reuters.

Read More: 2023: The Year of High-Value Deals, Mergers & Acquisitions

The Cognac Climate 

This transaction comes at a precarious time for the cognac industry which has seen a 20 percent decrease in exports between 2022 and 2023 and a decline of up to 40 percent in the United States. Similarly, recent years have also seen Courvoisier suffer a weakening demand, primarily amongst its Unites States consumers particularly when compared to the company’s uptake in sales seen during the pandemic. Courvoisier achieved net sales of USD 249 million in 2022, with about 60 percent of which coming from the United States.

The Courvoisier cognac bottles

As it stands, Courvoisier competes with LVMH’s Hennessy and Remy Cointreau SA’s Remy Martin. Courvoisier will join the Campari’s growing portfolio of brands that includes smaller cognac label Bisquit and cognac and orange liqueur mix Grand Marnier — already playing a key role in the company’s portfolio. Cognac would now become “the fourth pillar” of the group, alongside aperitifs, bourbon and tequila.

However, as The Grocer UK reports, a deal of this magnitude comes with its own share of risks. The sale will increase Campari’s net debt ratio from 2.6 to four, and result in an 80 basis point hit to its gross profit margin. The deal is expected to close later this year and may potentially see an additional earn-out of up to USD 0.12 billion, to be payable in 2029, according to Campari, who added that it would fund the acquisition via a combination of debt, cash and equity or equity-like instruments.

Last Hurrah


This marks the sixth acquisition for the company in its sixty years and is seen by some as Kunze-Concewitz’s final swan song as it was announced that the Campari Group CEO will retire after 16 years on April 2024 to “pursue personal passions”.

It is also worth noting that Courvoisier has ties to particular French emperor. Courvoisier was named “the Cognac of Napoleon” after Napoleon Bonaparte paid a visit to Courvoisier’s warehouses in 1811. The spirit later became the “official supplier of the imperial court” by Napoleon III in 1869. This history is honoured by on limited-edition Courvoisier bottles which depict Napoleon’s image and likeness.

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