The British spirits and wine group Allied Domecq PLC announced on September 4 that it has acquired Kümmerling GmbH for DM398m (Euro20.35m) in cash on a debt free basis. Kümmerling is a family owned business based in Bodenheim, and is Germany's fourth-largest spirits brand and the second-largest brand in the bitters category. Kümmerling sold some 680,000 cases in the year to December 31, 2000. Allied Domecq expects to achieve immediate operational synergies as the business is merged with its existing German operations. Philip Bowman, Allied Domecq's chief executive, said: "The acquisition of Kümmerling represents a significant addition to our existing operations in Germany, Europe's largest spirits market, where Allied Domecq will now rank as the fourth largest spirits company." The bitters category accounts for approximately 10.5 per cent of the German spirits market in volume and approximately 14.5 per cent in value. The category has continued to grow, despite a recent decline in the total spirits market. Bitters are traditionally made from aromatised alcohol with sugar and herbal extracts.