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Chateau Lascombes sold for €200m

Chateau Lascombes has been sold to French health insurance group MACSF for €200m.

The price for the 117-hectare Margaux second growth, which has been owned by American investment group Colony Capital since 2001, includes the chateau building, all land and equipment, and around €50m of stock.

The deal was signed over the weekend, ending months of speculation and a final bidding process that involved four interested parties. The current viticultural and winemaking team, led by Dominique Befve, will remain in place.

A rigorous study into the viability of the purchase and the future potential of the estate was carried out by MACSF along with various advisers: mergers and acquisitions specialists Wine Bankers, Bordeaux-based consultants Sogevignes, Ernst & Young Bordeaux, and law firm Fidal.

‘Part of the attraction for Colony Capital is the financial solidity of MACSF, and the ability to complete the transaction without any additional funding requirements,’ Jean-Luc Coupé of Wine Bankers told Decanter.com.

‘The purchase figure represents just 1% of MACSF assets, and the company has an annual turnover of €2.12bn. Although this is the company’s first vineyard purchase, they have a clear understanding of what is involved, and of the potential for Lascombes to join the so-called ‘Super Seconds’, over time and with careful work.’

MACSF CEO Marcel Kahn said, ‘We have enormous respect for all the work and investment that has been put into Lascombes, which has returned it to its Second Growth status.’ Colony Capital is believed to have invested around €35m in Lascombes, following its purchase of the property for €50m.

‘We are an entirely French company, and are happy to have invested in a piece of French heritage – we see this as a long-term investment, and are interested in ensuring continuity and future growth.’

Chateau Lascombes has the highest production of any Margaux estate, with over 500,000 bottles annually, of which 40% is sold in the United States, 30% in Asia, and 30% in Europe.

The price of Lascombes’ 2010 wine was released in early June, at €72 per bottle ex-negociant, a 20% rise on 2009.

Lascombes 2010 was given four stars (17.5 points out of 20) by Steven Spurrier for Decanter. He praised its ‘very well extracted ripe fruit [showing] the ripeness and structure of 2010 and fine ripe tannins for the future.’

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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