Gruppo Campari has agreed to sell its Lemonsoda business to Danish beverage company Unibrew for €80 million.
Campari said the decision to sell is a move to streamline its brand portfolio and focus on its core spirits business.
The Limonsoda business consists of the fruit-flavoured sodas Lemonsoda, Oransoda, Pelmosoda and Mojito Soda, grouped under the Freedea brand name, as well as the Crodo brands (with the exception of the brand Crodino).
The deal also includes the transfer of a manufacturing and bottling facility located in Crodo, Italy, and the attached water springs and inventories.
In the fiscal year ending 31 December 2016, the Limonsoda business achieved total net sales of €32.8 million. Italy is the brand’s core market, accounting for 84.3% of the overall net sales in FY2016.
The total net sales relating to the brands sold represented approximately 2% of Gruppo Campari’s net sales in FY2016. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
As part of the deal, Gruppo Campari and Royal Unibrew will enter into a multi-year manufacturing agreement, under which Royal Unibrew will continue to manufacture certain Gruppo Campari-owned products which are currently produced at the Crodo bottling facility.
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.”
Royal Unibrew CEO Hans Savonije added: “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.”
The Limonsoda business joined Gruppo Campari in 1995 and was its first acquisition. The range was part of a larger brand portfolio acquired including the non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino.
Since the beginning of 2017 Gruppo Campari has divested several non-strategic assets for a total value of approximately €310 million. In July it agreed to sell its Carolans and Irish Mist brands to US supplier Heaven Hill Brands in a deal worth $165 million.
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