Canadian Packaging

Canadian whisky firm bought by Italians for $186 million

Italy's Gruppo Campari buys Grimsby, Ont.'s Forty Creek whisky.

March 14, 2014
by Canadian Press

GRIMSBY, Ont.—Italian beverage company Gruppo Campari (Campari Group) has agreed to buy Ontario whisky maker Forty Creek Distillery Ltd. for $185.6-million.

Campari says the deal includes Forty Creek’s stocks, distillery facilities and the hospitality center in Grimsby, Ont., just southwest of Toronto.

Forty Creek, founded in 1992, produces premium whisky under its brand, and also vodka, brandy, rum and other liqueurs. Company founder John Hall will remain its chairman and whisky maker.

For Campari, it hopes to provide better leverage in taking the Canadian whisky brand into the U.S.Can

“Through this acquisition we enter the very large and appealing Canadian whisky category, thus premiumizing our brand portfolio, driving a richer product mix and further leveraging the revival of brown spirits,” says Campari managing director of North America Jean Jacques Dubau.

“Moreover,” he continues, “integrating this business will enable us to internalize key activities in the Canadian market as well as position us for further growth in our core U.S. market.”

The all-cash deal is expected to close June 2, 2014.

To view more information on Forty Creek whisky, visit

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