Campari to buy 70% stake in Wilderness Trail Distillery

The overall value of the operation is some $600 million. Bourbon would become Campari's second development area after aperitifs. The iconic Italian red bitter group said it would buy the remaining 30% in Wilderness Trail in 2031

Campari Group has announced plans to purchase an initial 70% interest in bourbon and rye whiskey brand, Wilderness Trail Distillery, before buying the remaining 30% in 2031. The Italian alcohol giant will be acquiring the initial stake for $420 million. The corresponding enterprise value for 100% of the outstanding capital of Wilderness Trail is $600 million.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year. Until then, each company will continue to operate independently.

Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: “We are very excited to take a controlling interest in world-class Wilderness Trail Distillery. By adding the fast-growing super-premium Wilderness Trail brand we further expand our bourbon offering, priming it to become Campari Group’s second major leg after the aperitif portfolio.

He added: “Moreover, we accelerate our premiumization journey, further enriching our Rare portfolio, the division aimed to unlock and accelerate the growth potential of a select range of high-end individual expressions in our core premium spirits markets. In addition, we have the opportunity to significantly expand our production capacity and aging inventory to satisfy the future growth of our premium bourbons, such as the high potential Whiskey Barons range, currently capped due to capacity constraints.


Located in Danville, Kentucky, Wilderness Trail Distillery was launched in 2012 with a focus on making premium bourbon and rye whiskey. According to the company’s website, it is specializing in producing “unique spirits from locally grown grains”.

Wilderness Trail co-founders, Shane Baker and Pat Heist commented: “We are thrilled about our partnership with Campari Group. Premium bourbon and rye whiskies and state-of-the-art production facilities, coupled with worldwide distribution, first-class marketing, and expertise across multiple spirit categories, provide the perfect foundation for the continued success of the Wilderness Trail brand.

Baker and Heist continued: “This is a win-win situation for both parties, and we are very proud of this partnership and what we can achieve together with our shared vision”.

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