June 5, 2020 / 3:49 PM / a month ago

Campari buys stake in Italy's Tannico to boost online spirits business

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian drinks group Campari (CPRI.MI) has agreed to buy 49% of online wines and spirits company Tannico to boost its e-commerce business amid the COVID-19 crisis, it said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Campari bottles are seen in a bar downtown Milan, Italy, September 4, 2018. Picture taken September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Campari said it had reached an agreement with Tannico’s owners to buy 39% of the company’s capital while subscribing to a reserved capital increase to take an overall 49% of the firm in a deal worth 23.4 million euros ($26.55 million).

Under the deal, Campari will have the possibility to increase its interest in Tannico to 100% starting from 2025.

“By leveraging Tannico’s expertise, we will accelerate our development plans in e-commerce, an already growing channel, but set to become even more strategic following the likely long-lasting changing consumer behaviours due to the COVID-19 emergency,” Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said.

Italy’s Tannico, whose offering comprises 14,000 wines from over 2,500 domestic and international wineries, had sales of 20.6 million euros last year and an average growth over the last three years of 50%.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has boosted online retail services around the world as stores have closed and many consumers have been locked down. Spirits groups have turned to e-commerce to compensate for falling consumption at bars and restaurants.

Vitale & Co and Chiomenti Studio Legale advised Tannico shareholder P101 SGR on the deal, while Pedersoli Studio Legale and McDermott Will & Emery advised Campari.

“The deal will give Tannico additional resources to create online platforms in other European markets,” Alberto Gennarini, Managing Partner at consultancy firm Vitale & Co, told Reuters.

Gennarini said that, before signing with Campari, Tannico had been approached by other international beverage groups.

Talks between Tannico and Campari started just before the coronavirus outbreak and accelerated during the health emergency, the adviser said. ($1 = 0.8812 euros)

Additional reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Pravin Char and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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