One of France’s biggest online wine retailers, ChateauOnline.fr, has unexpectedly been put up for sale.
ChateauOnline’s owner, Trinidad and Tobago-based CL Financial, has suffered financial difficulties due to the global economic crisis. Its UK wine operation Paragon Vintners went into administration earlier this year.
Evelyne Resnick, a wine consultant specialising in web marketing, told decanter.com, ‘I am surprised Chateauonline is up for sale because the site is doing very well. However, that could make it a good time to sell, as they are expecting to break even for the first time this year.’
Fabrice Bernard, a director at Wine & Co, another leading internet wine site, denied they would be interested in purchasing the site. ‘We are always looking for opportunities for expansion. 70% of new clients are coming through our website, but this is not an opportunity that we will be pursuing.’
According to a report by Bordeaux’s business school earlier this year, ChateauOnline receives 150,000 visitors a month, with annual revenue of 10 million euros.
WATCH our brilliant new How to store wine video with Steven Spurrier
Written by Jane Anson