Burgundy negociant Bejot Vins & Terroirs has significantly increased its power in the region after buying rival Maison Corton Andre.
Chateau de Corton Andre, which could be sold on to Jean-Jacques Frey. Photo credit: Corton Andre
A fee was not disclosed, but Bejot Vins & Terroirs’ chief executive, Vincent Sauvestre, said the sale was worth ‘tens of millions of euros’.
The deal continues a string of acquisitions by Bejot Vins in Burgundy since the turn of the Century, including Francois Protheau & Fils in 2001 and Moillard in 2008.
Corton Andre controls and also makes wine from more than 150 hectares of vineyard in Burgundy, representing 90 appellations from Chablis to Pouilly-Fuisse.
It was previously owned by Groupe Ballande, which also owns the Sovex and Ballande & Meneret merchants in Bordeaux, as well as Chateau Prieure-Lichine in Margaux.
Sauvestre said that Corton Andre had been struggling to make a profit, although no official figures were provided. ‘Maison Corton Andre’s comite d’entreprise [an elected employees’ committee) understood it was essential to sell quickly to save the company,’ he said.
Corton Andre’s Reine Pedauque brand will give Bejot Vins a stronger presence in French supermarkets, while the Pierre Andre label offers a stronger footing in international markets, Sauvestre said.
As part of the deal, Bejot Vins has also acquired Chateau de Corton Andre. But, Sauvestre told Decanter.com he is talking to Jean-Jacques Frey, owner of Chateau La Lagune and Paul Jaboulet Aine, about the possibility of Frey buying the chateau and its seven hectares of vineyards located in Corton, Volnay, Meursault and Pommard.
Sauvestre said the sale would help him to recoup funds used to buy the wider Corton Andre negociant business.
The Sauvestre family originated in Meursault in the 18th Century and Bejot Vins & Terroirs today operates nearly 230 hectares of vineyards in Burgundy, from Chablis to Macon, and 270 hectares across the Rhone Valley, Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon.
(Editing by Chris Mercer)
Written by Yohan Castaing