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Blended Whiskey

Campari to gulp Howler Head Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey – English

(ANSA) – ROME, AUG 24 – Iconic Italian drinks giant Campari
is set to gulp down Howler Head Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey with an
initial stake of 15% rising to total control of the historic US
brand in the medium term, the red Italian bitter company said
Wednesday.
   
Campari Group announced today the signing and simultaneous
closing of an agreement with Catalyst Spirits to acquire an
initial 15% interest in Howler Head Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Whiskey with Natural Banana Flavor with a medium-term route to
total ownership, and concomitantly to obtain exclusive global
distribution rights.
   
Howler Head is the official flavored whiskey partner of UFC and
has quickly become one of the fastest-growing whiskey brands in
the United States. Howler Head is also available in Canada and
recently expanded to the U.K.
   
‘With bourbon whiskey serving as one of our global priority
brand pillars, Howler Head is an ideal fit for our portfolio,’
said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer of Campari
Group. ‘In addition to being an exceptionally high-quality
liquid, Howler Head has established a clearly unique brand
personality and, through its deep relationship with UFC, has a
huge on-tap worldwide fanbase ready to enjoy this fantastic
bourbon.’
‘Campari Group has a proven track record for building global
brands that consumers truly love and we can think of no better
partner as we expand distribution of Howler Head around the
world, as well as tap into the vast potential that remains in
our existing markets of the U.S., Canada and the U.K.,’ said
Simon Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst Spirits. ‘In our
second full year in market, we are witnessing incredible demand
for this product and see endless opportunity for growth as we
maximize Campari’s established route-to-market expertise,
including its vast sales organization and distributor
relationships, both in the U.S. and internationally.’
‘UFC is a global entertainment brand reaching nearly 700 million
fans each year,’ said Dana White, President of UFC. “I love
nothing more that through this new partnership with Campari
Group, every UFC fan worldwide will have the chance to
experience what I think is one of the best whiskies ever
created.’
Howler Head is the original banana-flavored super-premium
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It launched nationally in the
U.S. in 2021, and in its first full year of operations, sold
over 50,000 9L cases primary to the U.S. and Canada markets
only, and generated overall net sales of USD6.7 million in
accordance with local GAAP. Since the beginning of 2022, Howler
Head has expanded its operations in the U.S. and Canada, entered
into key international markets, including the U.K., and is on
target for significant year-over-year growth.
   
Campari Group agreed to pay USD15 million in cash in the first
stage of path to total ownership, for a 15% interest in the
brand. Campari Group can acquire 100% of Howler Head through
customary call options based on the future brand results
achievements, which can be exercised starting from 2025. The
call option valuations imply compelling growth of Howler Head
case sales and revenue at each stage of the transaction in the
future.
   
Howler Head starts with real, carefully crafted Bourbon made at
Green River Distilling Co. with a proprietary yeast, the finest
grains and mineral-rich water filtered through Kentucky
limestone. The whiskey is distilled in a legendary 100-year-old
Vendome all-copper column still. The resulting Bourbon is then
aged for two years in American white oak barrels with a #4
“alligator” char in traditional wood rick houses. Following the
aging, the fine Bourbon is then blended with natural banana
flavor. Howler Head is 80 proof and retails in the U.S. for
$29.99 SRP for a 750ml.
   
In connection with the transaction, Latham & Watkins LLP acted
as legal advisor to UFC, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
acted as legal advisor to Catalyst Spirits and Wilk Auslander
LLP acted as legal advisor to Campari Group. (ANSA).
   

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