Legrand Filles et Fils, one of Paris' most famous wine businesses, has sold a majority stake to a Japanese investor.
Amane Nakashima, president of food group Nakashimato, has bought 78% of the shares of the €25 million turnover Legrand Filles et Fils, the distribution and négociant company Legrand & Associées, and fine wine store Peter Thustrup.
Gérard Sibourd-Baudry, who has run Legrand since 2000, will continue to own 22%, and will also remain in his role of managing director.
The store dates back to the 19th century and the current interior dates from 1900, opening onto Galerie Vivienne, one of the most attractive old-style arcades in the French capital, with cellars extending underneath the shop.
It was run by the Legrand family from the end of World War I until 2000, when the inheritors ceded their shares to an investment group led by Christian de Chateauvieux and Sibourd-Baudry. Chateauvieux has sold his stake in its entirety.
‘We have been thinking about this for the past few years, and all decisions have been taken with great care and consideration,’ Sibourd-Baudry told decanter.com. ‘We already see 15% of our turnover in Japan, 80% outside of France, and have 13 different nationalities working across the business. At first we were looking for a French investor, but soon realised that finding the right partner was more important than any other consideration.’
In 2010, the Nakashima family bought Folium Vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand, and are looking to develop the Legrand brand. ‘The wine selection will not change, but we will look to deepen relationships with suppliers. In the future, if the timing is right, we would consider opening a store outside of France, possibly in Japan. But this is not about refocusing our attention on Asia, just expanding our opportunities.’
The purchase price is thought to be around €16 million, with the sale overseen by the Rothschild bank.
Written by Jane Anson