Italian beverage company Davide Campari-Milano has entered negotiations with Compagnie Financière Chevrillon of France and some minority shareholders to acquire French company Rhumantilles.

Rhumantilles owns 96.5% stake in Martinique-based company Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs.

The Italian company has granted a put option to Groupe Chevrillon. It relates to the acquisition of French rum brands Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny.

Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs, which produces ‘Rhum Agricole’, owns Trois Rivières, Maison La Mauny, and Duquesne, a local market brand.

Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny are premium brands with a strong presence in France. They have serious potential for global growth.

Trois Rivières, Maison La Mauny and Duquesne have already obtained the Appellation d’Origine Controlée’ Rhum Agricole de la Martinique’ certification. This defines production standards and product designation, recognised globally as synonymous with high quality and link to the territory.

In the overall rum category, Rhum Agricole is the only segment that is claimed to have such a high-level regulation behind the production process. This provides a significant barrier to entry for competitors.

The company reported net sales value of the target in 2018 at €24.1m.

According to the company, the scope of the transaction could include not only the brands but also the related distilleries. Not to mention the land holdings, visitor centres and a high-quality aged rum inventory.

After the planned acquisition, Campari Group is expected to have an opportunity to add popular Rhum Agricole brands to its offering and expand its exposure to rum. This is a premium category that is currently at the heart of the ‘mixology’ trend and growing cocktail culture.

Furthermore, France is expected to become one of the group’s strategic markets. With the acquisition, Campari Group will have the opportunity to add significant critical mass in the market.

Campari Group said that it will provide the key financial terms of the transaction after positive conclusion of the negotiations.