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US-Colombian billionaire buys stake in Petrus – report

The owner of Château Petrus has sold a minority stake in the estate to US-Colombian billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo, according to reports that are sure to cause much discussion in Pomerol and Bordeaux.

The rumour mill in Bordeaux went into overdrive last night (7 September), after French magazine Revue des Vins de France reported that Petrus owner, the Moueix family, had sold a 20% stake in the Pomerol powerhouse.

Financial newspaper Les Echos subsequently named the purchaser as Alejandro Santo Domingo, a Colombian-American financier and philanthropist ranked at 499 on Forbes World Billionaire’s list in 2018 and with a personal fortune of $3.9 billion. Santo Domingo’s family are shareholders at Budweiser brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.

The paper quoted Jean Moueix as saying that the deal had been done to help secure the long-term future of the fabled Bordeaux estate.

Neither the estate nor Moueix was available for further comment on Friday morning, yet several courtiers and well-placed individuals in Bordeaux told Decanter.com that they believed the sale had taken place as much as 12 months ago.

Santo Domingo is also on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is married to the daughter of the Duke of Wellington, Lady Charlotte Wellesley.

Les Echos said that the deal valued Petrus and its 11.7 hectares of prized vineyard at one billion euros. If true, that would easily make it the most expensive vineyard transaction on record.

Alex Hall, a winery real estate specialist with Vineyard Intelligence in Bordeaux, told Decanter.com that a deal like that could not be compared to any normal guidelines for vineyard land prices.

‘This is not a per hectare price, it’s a Petrus price. There are two estates in France that could be valued like this -DRC and Petrus,’ he said.

Editing by Chris Mercer

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