Bordeaux first growth property Chateau Latour is reported to be for sale, and French mogul Bernard Magrez may be among its suitors.
According to the Sunday Times, the renowned Pauillac estate, owned since 1993 by French business tycoon François H. Pinault, is being quietly shopped by French investment bank Lazard.
In response to the story, Magrez told decanter.com that he had ‘no comment’ but did not deny interest.
A sale to Magrez, who is said to be leading a group of investors including Gérard Depardieu, would bring one of the original four 1855 classified first growths back into the hands of a resident Bordelais for the first time in decades. Magrez already owns several vineyards in Bordeaux – including Pape Clement – and around the world.
The Château Latour estate comprises 78 hectares, but only grapes from the 47 hectares that directly surround the chateau – known as L’Enclos – go into the eponymous first wine. The other vines are used for the second label, Les Forts de Latour.
While the Sunday Times cites a potential pricetag of €150m-200m (£145m-193m), sources in Bordeaux suggest that the property would ‘not go for less than €600m’.
The financial crisis has seen a number of Pinault’s other investments falter. Shares in luxury goods conglomerate PPR (which includes Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney) – of which his holding company Groupe Artemis owns 42% – have fallen from €105.50 on 1 January 2008 to €45.18 on 30 December 2008.
Pinault, who was 39th on the Forbes 2008 Rich List, also owns Christie’s auction house.
Neither Chateau Latour nor Bernard Magrez were available for comment.
Written by Jane Anson