| LONDON, July 8
LONDON, July 8 Investment bank Houlihan Lokey
has been hired to sell Nuvo, a sparkling liqueur brand that
mixes French vodka, white wine and fruit flavours, in a deal
that could fetch $50 million, a source familiar with the matter
said on Monday.
The brand, which was launched in 2007 by New York
entrepreneur Raphael Yakoby, sold 212,000 9-litre cases in the
year to December 2012, with 59 percent of sales in North
America, its main market followed by Latin America.
Its contribution after advertising and promotion (CAPP), the
most commonly used measure to value brands, was $7.6 million in
2012 on gross profit of $19.6 million.
The pink liqueur has featured in hip hop videos by artists
including Ludacris and Jamie Foxx and was the third largest
imported liqueur brand in the United States in 2012, according
to International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR).
Prospective buyers, including spirits companies, received
information on the sale on Monday, the source said. It is likely
to go to a trade buyer which already has a distribution network
in place to market the brand.
Bigger drinks companies are often attracted to boutique
brands that they can help grow as well as those targeted at
Drinks giant Diageo previously owned a 70 percent
stake in the joint venture that owns Nuvo, London Group, which
is now controlled by Yakoby, although Diageo still holds a
financial interest in the brand.
Bombay Gin owner Bacardi earlier in 2013 acquired
elderflower liqueur St-Germain, with plans to turn it into a
Yakoby also created Hypnotiq in 2001, a pale blue liqueur
made from vodka, cognac and juices, which he sold two years
later to Heaven Hill Distilleries for $60 million.