Italian spirits group Gruppo Campari has off-loaded its Carolans and Irish Mist brands to US firm Heaven Hill Brands for $165m (£126.7m).

Carolans is produced in Ireland and is the second-largest selling Irish cream whiskey liqueur worldwide, while Irish Mist Liqueur, the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland, is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices.

Combined net sales for the brands totalled €34m (£30.4m) in 2016 – with about 70% generated in the US – and made up about 2% of Campari’s group revenues last year.

Kentucky-headquartered Heaven Hill Brands is the largest independent family owned and operated distilled spirits company in the US. The company is the overall sixth-largest supplier in the US and produces and ages the second-largest inventory of bourbon in the world.

As part of the deal, Campari and Heaven Hill will enter into a multi-year exclusive distribution agreement, under which Campari will continue to distribute the Carolans and Irish Mist brands in the international markets outside the US.

“The sale of Carolans and Irish Mist is the largest disposal ever completed by the group,” Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said.

“We are very pleased to sign this transaction with Heaven Hill, a prominent spirits company in the US and a perfect fit for Carolans and Irish Mist. With this transaction, we continue to streamline our non-strategic portfolio and further increase our focus on our priority spirit brands, particularly in our largest and core US market.

“Moreover, thanks to this disposal, we can further accelerate in the reduction of our financial indebtedness. Since the beginning of 2016 we have divested non-strategic assets for a total value of approximately €260m”.

Heaven Hill president Max Shapira added: “We are delighted to have worked with Gruppo Campari on this acquisition. Carolans and Irish Mist are great historic brands that are highly complementary to our broad portfolio of leading brands. We look forward to building on the strong success these brands have achieved both in the US and around the world.”

Carolans and Irish Mist were acquired by Gruppo Campari in 2010 as part of a larger portfolio, which also included Frangelico, the key acquisition target.

The closing date of the transaction is expected to be 1 August 2017.