The UK drinks agency, which launched the Antiche-produced Antica sambuca in the UK market in 2004, issued the following statement:
“Hi-Spirits and Italian distiller Antiche had issued proceedings in the UK High Court against distributor Global Brands and distiller Fratelli Francoli in relation to the 30% ABV Opal range, which was launched in the UK in 2011.
“Under the EU Spirit Drinks Regulations, sambuca must have a minimum ABV of 38%.The claim issued by Hi-Spirits and Antiche was based on extended passing off, the legal principle under which a misrepresentation by one party in relation to a category of products causes harm to another's goodwill.
“All parties have now agreed a confidential settlement."
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, added: “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.”