Pernod Ricard has invested in Italian premium bergamot-infused aperitivo brand Italicus, as the spirits company continues to strengthen its portfolio.
The announcement coincides with the news that Dutch alcohol company De Kuyper Royal Distiller has sold its shares in the Italian brand.
De Kuyper has held shares in Italicus since its establishment and reportedly funded its first phase of the brand up to the present day.
Launched in 2016, Italicus was created by mixologist and Italian spirits expert Giuseppe Gallo, who will remain the active CEO in the brand’s ongoing development.
The 20% ABV liquor sells for an average of €30 per 70cl bottle and will reinforce Pernod Ricard’s portfolio of speciality brands which offers promising growth potential.
According to Pernod Ricard, Italicus addresses the market for a unique ingredient for bartenders and for core low-ABV spirit for ‘discerning’ consumers.
The investment marks the latest of a series of deals by Pernod Ricard as part of its strategic plan ‘Transform and Accelerate’.
Previous partnerships include Monkey 47, Rabbit Hole Whiskey, Del Maguey mezcal, and most recently Japanese ultra-premium gin brand Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin.
Following the investment, in which the size was not disclosed, Italicus will benefit from Pernod Ricard’s global distribution network for its future expansion, according to the statement.
“Italicus has experienced a remarkable start, resonating with mixologists and consumers. We are thrilled to add Italicus to the Pernod Ricard portfolio and for the group to help drive its future development,” said Gilles Bogaert, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard EMEA-LatAm.
Giuseppe Gallo, founder and CEO of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, said: “Since its launch the brand has experienced success with both the on-trade and consumers, and it is now time to consolidate with this heavyweight strategic partner in order to accelerate our global distribution. We have an ambitious plan to build Italicus into one of the world’s most successful aperitivo brands.”
Mark de Witte, CEO De Kuyper Royal Distillers, said: “Being a premium liqueurs specialist, De Kuyper Royal Distillers recognised the potential of Italicus right from the beginning. I am proud about our contribution in developing Italicus into a love brand among bartenders and consumers across the world. We thank the Italicus management team for the great cooperation and wish Italicus ongoing success.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019