Perella Weinberg Partners has signed on to help spirits business Davide Campari-Milano (BIT: CPR), the owner of Aperol liqueur and Skyy vodka, explore a sale of its Irish Mist whiskey and Carolans Irish cream brands, per Bloomberg. Campari bought Irish Mist and Carolans along with Frangelico liqueur from William Grant & Sons for €128.5 million in 2010.
A sale of the businesses would help offset costs incurred from two recent Campari acquisitions: last year's purchase of a controlling stake in Grand Marnier for some €490 million and its pending pickup of BULLDOG London Dry Gin for €54 million.
With any deal reportedly in its preliminary stages, private equity and strategic acquirers alike could still be in pursuit. If recent trends are any indication, though, a public company might be Carolans and Irish Mist's most likely buyer. PE's thirst for beverage deals seems to have peaked two years ago, when firms completed 83 deals, according to the PitchBook Platform. Corporate acquirers, meanwhile, are making more and more deals with each passing year, reaching a new high of 109 last year, including ABInBev’s industry-realigning takeover of SABMiller. Here's a full comparison:
Deal count in beverages sector since 2010
Since 2010, PE firms have completed 398 beverage deals, again per the Platform, while corporate acquirers have completed 544. Activity among corporate acquirers tends toward Europe, with 49.8% of deals occurring there compared to 45.2% in the US over the same span. PE firms, on the other hand, have concentrated 54.7% of their acquisitive activity in the US since 2010, with Europe representing a further 43% of the total.