Gruppo Campari buys Bulldog gin

Gruppo Campari has announced the acquisition of super premium gin, Bulldog for US$58.4 million (€54.1m).

This is inclusive of working capital and assumed liabilities, for $3.4m (€3.1m).

Campari says the agreement foresees the possibility of an earn-out payable upon the achievement of certain incremental sales volumes, according to agreed volume targets.

Gruppo Campari has distributed Bulldog Gin since 2014 through its own distribution network, including the global travel retail channel, via an exclusive five-year agreement with an attached call option to acquire ownership of the brand in 2020.

Following a renegotiation of the deal terms, Campari accelerated its purchase of the brand. The company says the new deal allows it to achieve a financially attractive proposition, allowing it to fully exploit the brand’s growth potential going forward by taking full control of the marketing strategy as well as the brand building initiatives.

Launched in the US in 2007 and subsequently in Europe, Bulldog gin is, according to IWSR, the #4 premium gin in the world and is available in 95 countries, concentrated in Europe. Spain, Benelux, the UK, global travel retail and the US are the brand’s largest markets. Bulldog achieved net sales of approx. €11m in 2016, an increase of approx. 22% on 2015 on a like-for-like basis, with approx. 150,000 9L cases sold globally, says Campari.

Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: “This deal is an opportunity to consolidate our presence as a key player in the attractive super premium gin category via a super-premium brand with significant growth potential. By gaining full control of Bulldog gin’s marketing, strategy and brand building initiatives, we are strongly positioned to exploit the brand’s full potential. Moreover, thanks to super premium Bulldog gin, we complement the group's existing offering and further premiumise its own brand portfolio, driving richer product mix.

“From a distribution stand point thanks to Bulldog gin we will further increase our on-premise focus, particularly in the US, where the group is currently strengthening its on-trade capabilities. Moreover, we further enrich our own offering in global travel retail and we continue to leverage the group’s existing route-to-market, particularly the recently established distribution platforms, like Spain. By acquiring a fast growing, profitable and margin accretive brand, this deal is a perfect fit with Campari’s acquisition criteria in terms of type of brands and distribution fit,” said Kunze-Concewitz.

Bulldog was created in 2007 by entrepreneur and ex-investment banker, Anshuman Vohra. Vohra, who will stay on for a period of time in a founder/brand ambassador capacity.

Made in England, it is based on a blend of 12 botanicals from eight countries, quadruple distilled in traditional copper pot stills.