Castel, France’s largest wine company, has bought Bordeaux wine merchant Oenoalliance.
Oenoalliance employs 87 people, handles 40m bottles of wine annually, and has a turnover of €45m.
It has been suffering economic difficulties over the past years, but was recently given a vote of renewed confidence by a large French financial institution.
Franck Crouzet, communications director at Castel, told decanter.com, ‘Oenoalliance has a good diversity of clients, complementary to our own, and we hope to expand into new markets.
‘We will be keeping the site and facilities, developing technical capabilities, and maintaining the brand name. We will also construct a water treatment plant to further Oenoalliance’s already strong environmental credentials.’
Castel – owners of the Nicolas and Oddbins retail chains – is one of the biggest landowners in Bordeaux, with 14 chateaux and 2,500ha of vineyards rented in a series of partnerships.
The purchase was completed on April 30, 2008.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux