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Gruppo Campari to sell Lemonsoda business to Royal Unibrew for EUR80m

DBR Staff Writer Published 05 October 2017

Italian beverage producer Gruppo Campari has agreed to sell its Lemonsoda business to Danish brewing company Royal Unibrew for €80m.

The business being sold includes the alcohol free fruit-flavoured carbonated variants Lemonsoda, Oransoda, Pelmosoda and Mojito Soda, grouped under the Freedea brand name, as well as the Crodo brands.

Besides, trademarks, the sale also includes manufacturing facility in Crodo, Northern Italy and the attached water springs along with inventories. Campari will retain the brand Crodino.

The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

As part of the acquisition, Campari and Royal Unibrew will enter into a multi-year manufacturing agreement, where Royal Unibrew will contine to manufacture some of Campari’s products which are presently being produced at the bottling facility in Crodo.

Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: “The sale of the Lemonsoda and Crodo business marks a further key step in our strategy of streamlining our non-core activities. In particular, with this transaction we exit the soft drinks business, while retaining our core Crodino brand, to further focus on our key aperitif business in Italy.

“We are very pleased to sign this transaction with Royal Unibrew, a focused player and brand developer in the soft drinks and mineral water segments, and a perfect fit for the Lemonsoda business. Moreover, we are glad to transfer the Crodo facility to a Group investing in the soft drinks segment with ambitious growth plans for the manufacturing site.”

The present transaction represents Campari’s efforts to streamline its brand portfolio and to focus more on core spirits business. From the beginning of this year, Gruppo Campari has disinvested from seveal of its non-strategic assets, with a total value of about €310m.

Campari had acquired the business back in 1995 and it was the group’s first acquisition. The range was part of a larger brand portfolio which had non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino. In the years that followed, Campari introduced several line extensions that further added to the Lemonsoda business.

Royal Unibrew CEO Hans Savonije said: ‘Today’s acquisition cements our commitment to the Italian market and expands our position. In Ceres Strong Ale, we have one must-stock product, and now we’re adding Lemonsoda as number two to our portfolio.

“Lemonsoda is the Italian market leader within citrus-based soft drinks products and is almost as widely distributed as Ceres Strong Ale. This is one of the reasons why we consider the new business a good match. We believe that our extensive multi-beverage experience will enable us to generate growth in the acquired business.”

Image: Gruppo Campari to sell Lemonsoda business to Royal Unibrew. Photo: Courtesy of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A.