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Campari moves into Jamaican rum market

Monday, September 03, 2012 | 7:19 AM    

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ROME (AP) -- Campari Group, the maker of the bright red Italian aperitif, says it has acquired a controlling stake in Jamaican rum maker Lascelles deMercado from the troubled Caribbean conglomerate CL Financial Ltd.

Campari said Monday it had agreed to buy CL Financial's 81.4 percent stake and would offer to buy the rest of Lascelles' shares. The total price for all Lascelles' shares is US$415 million ($36 billion). The company's brands include Appleton; White, Wray & Nephew and Coruba.

Campari has been on a global shopping spree for more than a dozen years as it seeks to expand the 150-year old company beyond production of its eponymous brew of herbs into new spirit and beverage lines. Lascelles marks its third-largest acquisition.

Trinidad-based CL Financial received a government bailout starting in 2009.

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