Campari America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A. (Reuters CPRI.MI – Bloomberg CPR IM), and Kobrand Corporation announced today they have reached a mutual agreement that will shift the distribution and marketing of the Appleton® Rum portfolio of brands in the US from Kobrand to Campari America beginning March 1 of 2013. Appleton, in addition to the Wray & Nephew® and Coruba® Rum brands, were acquired by Milan-based Gruppo Campari in December 2012 as part of the company’s purchase of a controlling stake in Jamaican company Lascelles deMercado & Co. Limited.
“We are very pleased that we have come to agreement with Kobrand, who was contracted by the previous owner of the fantastic portfolio of Appleton rum brands, to gain full distribution and marketing through Campari America in the US,” said Roy Danis, Managing Director – US/Caribbean/Puerto Rico, Campari America. “Kobrand has done an exceptional job building these brands, particularly among the very important bartender community, and we are driven to expand on their hard work so Appleton, Wray & Nephew, and Coruba can realize their full potential in the US market.”
“It has been a privilege to have worked on this portfolio of fine rums, and we are proud of Kobrand’s and our distribution partners’ results from all of areas of the business – case growth, distribution growth, quality of distribution growth, and consumer franchise building,” said Bob DeRoose, President and CEO, Kobrand Corporation. “We wish Campari America continued success with these wonderful brands.”
The business acquired by Gruppo Campari includes an unrivalled portfolio of world-class premium and overproof rums, including Appleton Estate (super premium aged rum designed for sipping), Appleton Special and White (blend specially designed for mixing), Wray & Nephew White Overproof (the world’s top-selling, award-winning overproof rum), Coruba, and a strong portfolio of local brands. In Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2011, this rum and spirits portfolio achieved total sales volume of 3.5 million 9 liter cases.
Kobrand Corporation was founded in 1944 and to this day remains one of the few family-owned wine and spirits companies. Kobrand’s portfolio of wine and spirits was meticulously selected according to a single, unerring principle: quality. This continued focus has made the Kobrand name synonymous with wines and spirits of the highest caliber for over 60 years. Kobrand is the exclusive agent for an outstanding selection of fine wines and spirits that include Maison Louis Jadot Burgundies, Champagne Taittinger, St. Francis, Sequoia Grove, Benziger Family Winery, Cakebread Cellars, Sassicaia, The Fladgate Partnership of Ports, Alizé Passion Liqueurs and Alize Coco, Tia Maria, Antica Sambuca, Delamain Grande Champagne Cognacs and Vikingfjord Vodka.