Mentelobos mezcal

Campari moves into booming mezcal market

October 9, 2019
By Alana House

Campari has spent $US35million to acquire a controlling interest Ancho Reyes liqueur and Casa Montelobos super-premium mezcal.

The two companies are respectively owners of Ancho Reyes spicy liqueur and Montelobos mezcal. Campari aims to build on the double-digit growth of its Espolon tequila in the US through the purchase.

The acquisitions follow Pernod Ricard’s takeover of Del Maguey mezcal and Bacardi’s investment in Ilegal mezcal. 

Ancho Reyes is crafted from ancho and poblano chiles cultivated in the volcano-enriched soils of Puebla, Mexico.

Campari said it “represents a versatile proposition, offering an ideal fit to mixology as a foundation for innovative cocktails”.

Ancho Reyes Campari acquisition super premium mezcal

Montelobos is an artisanal mezcal created by Mexican distiller Iván Saldaña, world renowned expert in agave and mezcal.

The company noted in a statement: “This spirits category is currently exported into over 50 countries in the world, offering the United States the biggest potential for the category growth. Mezcal retail sales almost decupled globally over the last decade, outperforming significantly the volume growth, witnessing the premiumisation experienced by the category. In the US market only, mezcal value sales achieved a CAGR of 30.4% in 2008-2018, which compares with a CAGR of 24.1% worldwide over the same period.”

In 2018 the core market for Ancho Reyes and Montelobos was the United States, which accounted for 66.4% of the combined sales, with Mexico, UK and other international markets for the balance of net sales. In 2018 the net sales achieved by the two brands jointly amounted to approx. $US7 million (approx. €6 million), before any distribution synergies. The two brands achieved a CAGR of 53.7% overall in 2016-2018.

The overall consideration for 51% interest in the two companies is $US35.7 million. The scope of the acquisition includes the brands, the intellectual property and the related inventories. The business leverages a fully integrated supply chain for the two brands, through leased production and bottling facilities, whilst agave, the main raw material to produce mezcal, is sourced through third party agreements with major local growers to secure constant supply.

The deal is expected to close by year end.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are very pleased to enrich our offering with two super premium brands, Ancho Reyes spicy liqueur and Montelobos mezcal: they give us the opportunity to add a unique and versatile liqueur with a strong international potential, riding the very positive mixology trend, as well as to enter the premium and high performing mezcal category.

“We acquire two truly handcrafted gems and we continue to premiumise our portfolio with a particular focus on the key US market, enhancing our exposure to the strategic premium on-premise distribution channel.”

The brands are currently not available in Australia. Stay tuned.

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