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Friday, 6 July, 2001, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
No tonic for Campari investors
Campari drinks
Campari: Wanted funds to go on a spending spree
There was no fizz for investors following the stock market debut of Campari, the Italian drinks company, on Friday.

The shares fell 3.6% on the Milan bourse as professional investors judged the company poor value compared with European rivals.

The largest flotation on the Italian market this year also coincided with another bout of global stock market turmoil that hit shares across the board.

Campari, best known for its trademark bitter red aperitif, had earlier priced its shares at 31 euros apiece, valuing the company at 900m euros ($761m; 540m).

The pricing had already been at the low end of the indicative price range announced earlier.

Tough going

The Campari group, founded in 1860, also has brands including Cinzano and Ouzo 12.

But analysts said the company would struggle to match the growth of the big international brands owned by rivals such as Diageo and Allied Domecq, both UK companies.

"Campari will have to show it can sustain growth of its local spirits brands," said drinks analyst Ian Shackleton at CSFB in London.

Campari had said it wanted to float to generate funds for acquisitions.

It said the sale of 49% of the company's stock was three times oversubscribed.

It bought one million of the shares itself to distribute as part of a share option plan for employees.

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See also:

22 Jun 01 | Business
Campari spills float details
04 Jul 01 | Business
Interbrew given Bass options
21 Jun 01 | Business
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