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1 November

Treasury brushes off Daou deal scepticism

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Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has rebuffed hefty analyst scepticism over its acquisition of Daou Vineyards, emphasising the Californian group is “absolutely the right fit for our portfolio”. 

The Australian wine giant is to pay an initial US$900m for Daou, a figure that could rise to $1bn under an earn-out clause. 

Speaking to analysts following the announcement, TWE CEO Tim Ford faced questions about the rationale for the deal, including its move to bolster its business in the US. 

Ford said it had been “monitoring [Daou] pretty much since we did the Frank Family Vineyards acquisition two years ago”.  

He added: “[The Daou acquisition] improves every operating metric we have in terms of the business. The quality of this business goes up exponentially with this acquisition, no doubt about that. So that’s the reason why we continue down this path.”

3 October

Carlsberg terminates Russia brewing licence following “illegitimate” Kremlin takeover

Carlsberg has ended its brewing contract with Baltika Breweries in Russia nearly three months after the Kremlin seized control of the business.

The Danish brewer said it refused “to be forced into a deal on unacceptable terms” and saw “no path to a negotiated solution” over its withdrawal from the country. 

It has terminated agreements allowing Baltika Breweries to produce, market and sell all Carlsberg Group products, including international and regional brands. 

On 16 July, Moscow issued a decree transferring the management of Carlsberg’s Russian subsidiary

In a statement today (3 October), the Tuborg brewer said: “We have now concluded that we currently see no path to a negotiated solution for exiting Russia.”

13 September

International Beverage in M&A one-two

International Beverage has bought New Zealand’s Cardrona Distillery and a clutch of brands from Nordic wine and spirits business Anora Group. 

Cardrona, set up in 2015, markets products including its namesake single-malt whisky, The Reid vodka, The Source gin and Rose Rabbit liqueurs. 

International Beverage, the international arm of Thai giant Thai Beverage, has acquired brands including Larsen Cognac from Anora. The deal marks the Old Pulteney Scotch maker’s move into Cognac. 

The deal for Cardrona was struck for an undisclosed sum. International Beverage’s transaction with Anora gave the assets changing hands – which also included Monopol Cognac and Ibis brandy – an “enterprise value” of €54.1m ($57.7m).

Just Drinks analysis: M&A moves put International Beverage in spotlight

12 September

Campari CEO Kunze-Concewitz steps down

Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz is to step down after 16 years at the helm of the Italian spirits major to “pursue personal passions”. 

He will be succeeded by Matteo Fantacchiotti, managing director of the group’s Asia-Pacific arm, in April next year. Fantacchiotti has been appointed deputy CEO in the meantime. 

Kunze-Concewitz will remain on the board as a non-executive director at the Appleton Estate brand owner. 

He has been at the company for 18 years, beginning his tenure as chief marketing officer in 2005. Kunze-Concewitz joined Campari Group following 15 years as marketing director at US FMCG giant Procter & Gamble. 

His departure comes as a change in Campari Group’s voting structure led to speculation including whispers the company might be about to splash out on ‘transformational’ M&A.

20 September

Stoli Group “sidelined” by “startling” Campari, Miraval distribution deal

Stoli Group has spoken out against its fellow Château Miraval co-owners, which has announced an exclusive ten-year distribution deal for the brand with Campari Group. 

In a statement sent to Just Drinks, Stoli claimed there was “no tender” for the agreement, which gave Campari Group exclusive distribution rights for the Provence rosé brand in the US and France, raising questions over its legitimacy. 

Château Miraval was bought by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2008 in partnership with French wine group Famille Perrin. Stoli Group purchased a 50% stake in the business in 2021 from Jolie’s former investment company, Nouvel. 

Campari did not comment on Stoli Group’s claims but said it had “ensured that the counterparty had all the necessary powers to grant distribution rights” before entering the agreement.