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French bank Crédit Agricole puts two Bordeaux châteaux up for sale

France’s Crédit Agricole bank has said it will sell Château La Tour de Mons in Margaux and Château Blaignan in the Médoc appellation, and invest heavily in fifth growth estate Grand Puy Ducasse.

Crédit Agricole said earlier this year that selling 58-hectare La Tour de Mons and 97-hectare Blaignan would enable it to focus resources on three key estates.

Those are Château Grand Puy Ducasse, an 1855 fifth growth in Pauillac, plus Château Meyney further north in St-Estèphe and Château de Santenay in Burgundy. All are run by CA Grands Crus, based in Pauillac.

The bank said it would invest heavily in Grand Puy Ducasse. This will include building new vat and barrel rooms by 2021, plus new wine tourism facilities, it said.

All three estates would also see investment to help them become more environmentally friendly, the bank said, without elaborating on the details. It did not say how much money would be spent.

Proceeds from the sales of La Tour de Mons and Blaignan would be directly re-invested to provide minority capital to the bank’s existing clients, said Christophe Blanchy, head of capital investment at Crédit Agricole.

The bank said that it was the biggest lender to France’s wine industry and was already a minority shareholder in several wine businesses.

Crédit Agricole has owned La Tour de Mons since 1995 and expanded the estate after buying Château Marsac-Seguineau in 2001. It has owned Blaignan since 2004. Both have seen investment in the vineyards and the cellars, said the bank.

Sodica Millésime was advising on the sale, Crédit Agricole said in January 2019.

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