Ex-Campari chief accused of spilling Grand Marnier deal to friend

The apertif for this dinner was allegedly a hot investment tip.

French authorities have accused a former Campari Group honcho of telling his friend over dinner about the company’s impending takeover of rival booze maker Grand Marnier, a report says.

Ex-Campari CEO Marco Perelli-Cippo allegedly spilled the news to his pal, Davide Blei, at a meal on March 1, 2016 — just weeks before his company revealed it was acquiring the famed cognac brand, according to Bloomberg News.

The accusations have been lodged by officials at the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, France’s stock market regulator, who say Blei opened a securities account just to buy Grand Marnier shares the day after dining with Perelli-Cippo, the news service reported Friday.

Blei reportedly earned 34,000 euros, or $40,300, thanks to the tie-up, which was announced in mid-March 2016. But his lawyer, Romuald Cohana, called the regulators’ theory of the case “absurd.”

“It is just not possible that Mr. [Perelli-Cippo] asked his friend for 50 years to come over [to] his house just to tell him that a takeover bid would occur soon and invest only 50 thousand euros,” Cohana, a partner at the Sharp law firm, told The Post in an email.

Perelli-Cippo invited Blei to his home in Milan that evening to dine and to “talk about sailing like they usually do,” Cohana said. While there, Blei saw a file with “Grand Marnier” written on it and then bought 50,000 euros worth of shares in the brand without telling Perelli-Cippo, according to Cohana.

Perelli-Cippo also denies mentioning the Grand Marnier deal to Blei, Bloomberg reported. French regulators reportedly want to fine Blei 120,000 euros and slap Perelli-Cippo with a fine half as large.

“During my whole career, I never told anyone what I did at work, the secrets of my activity, not even to my wife or to my dog,” Perelli-Cippo said, according to Bloomberg.

Campari Group declined to comment on the specific case, but noted that Perelli-Cippo stepped down as CEO in 2004 and stopped being a member of the company’s board in 2016.

“No director has ever violated the duty of confidentiality as the group pays the utmost attention to its constraints even beyond what is dictated by law,” Campari said.


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