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09.2007

Massachusetts Beverage Business

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CAMPARI GOES X-RATED

DAVIDE CAMPARI SPA ANNOUNCED in July that it bought the X-Rated stable of US high-end spirits brands for 29 million euros (approximately $4O million US), expanding its presence in the lucrative premium segment of the alcohol market. In a statement, Milan-based Campari said the X-Rated brands have grown rapidly since their launch in 2OO4, selling a total of 7O,OOO cases last year. Family controlled Campari, Italy's biggest listed alcoholic drinks company, is buying the X-Rated brands from its founders, spirits blender Jean-Marc Daucourt and former US Allied Domecq executive Todd Martin. The purchase, that was to be paid in cash in August, buys the company X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, and two vodka brands, Jean-Marc XO and X-Rated. Though relatively small, the acquisition is one of a series of purchases by Campari as it seeks to broaden its presence in previously uncharted territory. At the end of 2OO5 Campari bought three Scotch whisky brands from Pernod Ricard and more recently, the company added Sammy Hagar's super-premium Cabo Wabo line of tequilas to its portfolio with an 8O% ownership share for $8O million. Between the X-Rated and Cabo Wabo lines it would seem that the staid appearing Campari organization is showing that it has a bit of a wild side.

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