UPDATE 1-Campari to accelerate acquisitions after buying Averna

martes 15 de abril de 2014 12:18 GYT

* Deal values Averna, Braulio maker at 104 mln euros

* Deal to boost its European business - CEO

* Campari has a further 250 mln euros to invest in 2014 (Recasts lead, adds CEO quotes, detail)

By Isla Binnie and Maria Pia Quaglia

MILAN, April 15 (Reuters) - Italian drinks maker Campari said on Tuesday it was buying a Sicilian spirits company, had 250 million euros ($346 million) to invest in further deals this year and planned to spend even more on acquisitions in 2015.

The deal to buy Fratelli Averna, which produces the bitters Averna and Braulio and makes over a third of revenue from exports, values it at 103.75 million euros ($143 million).

While other Italian firms have become targets for foreign buyers, Campari has hit the acquisition trail to broaden its stable of drinks such as whiskeys and liqueurs and lure more customers outside its traditional European markets.

Just over a month ago it said it would buy Canada's Forty Creek Distillery.

Campari Chief Executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz told Reuters the Averna deal "strengthens our critical mass in Germanic markets quite a bit". He said three quarters of all exports of the Averna brand go to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.   Continuación...