US drinks and consumer products group Brown-Forman has taken control of Italian liquor maker Distillerie Tuoni e Canepa by acquiring an additional 55% stake increasing its ownership to 100%.

The maker of Jack Daniel’s whisky, Fetzer wines and Lenox china, bought the European group’s main brand - Tuaca Liqueur - in December 2000 and has been the group’s US distributor since May 1999.

B-F president William Street said: “Tuaca has been a tremendous asset in our developing brands portfolio. We believe the taste profile and brand imagery are well received by consumers and the brand has significant untapped potential in the US and abroad.”

The group said the acquisition was not expected to have a material impact on earnings per share for Brown-Forman in fiscal 2003 or fiscal 2004.

Tuoni e Canepa’s president Enrico Tuoni and its director Mariagrazia Tuoni Banti will continue to work for the company for a minimum of two years to assist Brown-Forman in the transition of the Tuaca brand.