Sambuca war ends in "confidential settlement"

Hi-Spirits has accepted a “confidential settlement” after taking Global Brands to the High Court for releasing a sambuca brand that breached EU law.

Sambuca must have a minimum abv of 38% under the EU Spirit Drinks Regulations, but Global Brands released a 30% abv sambuca called Opal in 2011.

Hi Spirits has distributed the 38% abv Italian sambuca brand Antica since 2004,  and it teamed up with Antica’s producer Antiche to report Global Brands and Opal’s distiller Fratelli Francoli to the High Court.

The claim focused on “the legal principle under which a misrepresentation by one party in relation to a category of products causes harm to another's goodwill”.

Dan Bolton, managing director at Hi-Spirits, said: “We’re pleased with the outcome, although we obviously regret the need to bring legal proceedings.

“In partnership with Antiche, we have worked hard over the past decade to establish the Antica Sambuca brand and to bring sambuca as a category into the mainstream of the UK spirits market.

 “We are committed to protecting both the Antica Sambuca brand and the sambuca category generally.”

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