Gruppo Campari, the maker of aperitif, announced this week that it had bought controlling interest in Lascelles deMercado, maker of Appleton Jamaica Rums, from CL Financial Ltd.
Campari takes over CL Financial’s 81.4% share and will buy the remaining shares by year end. The total deal is worth $414.8 million and is expected to lead to a profit from next year.
This is Campari’s third biggest acquisition. In 2009, it bought Wild Turkey from Pernod Richard SA, and Skyy Spirits in 2001.
Lascelles deMercado has the largest stock of aged rums in the world – Appleton Jamaica Rum, which is distributed by J. Wray & Nephew, a subsidiary company. DeMercado was formed in 1825.
It’ll be interesting to see what impact, if any, the sale will have on the local market. Other distillers, like Worthy Park Estate and Hampden Estate, producers of bulk rum for the European market, have expanded into the lucrative white rum market with Rum Bar Rum and Rum Fire White Overproof respectively. Hampden’s Rum Fire, which was launched in March last year was awarded its first gold medal at this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition.