Chateau Margaux shareholder Corinne Mentzelopoulos is set on owning the property outright, her office has confirmed, following reports the Bordeaux first growth is for sale.
Mentzelopoulos (above) already owns 25% of shares in the chateau. The remaining 75% stake belongs to the Agnelli family of the troubled Fiat empire, whose patriarch Giovanni Agnelli died in January this year.
While Margaux director general Paul Pontallier has confirmed to decanter.com that the Agnelli stake is for sale, all other reports have been met with consistent ‘no comment’ from the chateau itself, from its Paris office, and from its bankers Lazard Bros, who reportedly have been instructed to find a buyer.
But it has been confirmed that Mentzelopolous, who took over management of the chateau on the death of her millionaire father André Mentzelopoulos in 1980, wants to own Margaux outright.
‘Clearly we will be interested in acquiring a majority stake,’ Francois Des Noyers, a director of one of the companies in the Mentzelopolous group, told decanter.com.
Des Noyers said it would be ‘premature’ to suggest the deal was already done and that Mentzelopoulos was now the majority shareholder, as well-placed sources in Bordeaux are reporting.
The near-unprecedented sale of one of the five most famous wine producers in the world – worth a reputed €400m (US$436.5m) – has generated a flurry of rumour and speculation.
Newspapers have placed billionaires from Microsoft’s Bill Gates to UK landowner the Duke of Westminster, and conglomerates such as AXA Millesimes, in Margaux’s head office. There has been no comment from all the parties concerned.
Written by Adam Lechmere