Stellenbosch based Distell Group, one of Africa’s largest wine and spirits producers has announced the sale of its luxury cognac brand, Bisquit to Gruppo Campari for €53mil. The deal is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2018.
Distell bought Bisquit in 2009 from the worlds number 2 drinks giant Pernod Ricard for €31mil, with the intention of developing the brands international presence in key cognac markets such as China and Russia whilst bolstering its portfolio in the premium segment. The strategy doesn’t seem to have come to fruition.
In Africa the two leading markets for Cognac are South Africa and Nigeria, both accounting for about 250 000 cases of Cognac, in both these markets the category is significantly led by LVMH power brand Hennessy Cognac, accounting for a large share of the market. The demographics in both South Africa and Nigeria bode well for the long term growth of Cognac consumption with the ever increasing emerging middle class, rapid urbanization and overall buoyant consumer spending, despite recent economic challenges faced by both countries.
One feels that the Bisquit brand however will be in much better hands with Gruppo Campari who have demonstrated the ability to market premium brands such as Skyy Vodka and Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch whisky making the acquisition of a world renowned luxury cognac a good fit for their portfolio and capabilities.
It will be interesting to see how Gruppo Campari uses Bisquit to challenge the status quo in Cognac within Africa, in particular South Africa and Nigeria.
Distell, is a global business with roots in South Africa, produces and markets a diverse portfolio of award-winning alcoholic brands that have been crafted by extraordinary people across the world. Some of these brands include Amarula, Savanna, Hunter’s Dry, Bisquit, Durbanville Hills and Nederburg.
Gruppo Campari, founded in 1860, is a leading player in the global branded beverage industry with a portfolio counting more than 50 premium and super premium brands spreading across Global, Regional and Local priorities.
The Group is today the 6th largest player worldwide in the premium spirits industry, and our products are marketed and distributed in more than 190 countries in the world