After six years of court battles Portuguese wine company Sogrape is now back under control of its founding family.
Guedes: ‘difficult to have competitor in the house’
Salvador Guedes, president of the multimillion euro company, said they were ‘very happy’ to have finally bought out Jose Berardo, who had held a 32% stake in Sogrape since 2006.
‘He was an important shareholder but he was a competitor, and it never felt right to have a competitor in the house,’ Guedes told Decanter.com.
Sogrape was founded by three families in 1942, the Guedes family, the Carmo famiy and the Correia da Silva family.
Berardo, owner of major Portuguese operation Quinta da Bacalhôa and one of Portugal’s richest men, bought the Carmo shares – one third of the company – in 2006.
Quinta da Bacalhôa has holdings in the Alentejo, the Setúbal Peninsula, Lisbon, Bairrada, Dão, Douro, Beiras and Vinhos Verdes.
Now Sogrape – Portugal’s biggest wine company, owner of Mateus and Sandeman and wineries in every major region of Portugal as well as Bodegas LAN in Rioja and holdings in Jerez and Languedoc-Roussillon, and UK distributor Stevens Garnier – has bought back Berardo’s share and now has control of 80% of the company, alongside the Correia da Silva family.
‘We just bought him out and now we can pursue our destiny without his interference,’ Guedes said of the deal that was finalised in September.
‘He acquired his portion without our knowledge – he was a competitor and the relationship was never easy.’
Written by Adam Lechmere