Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte and Castelnau delay merger due to Covid
Two of Champagne’s leading co-operatives, Nicolas Feuillatte and Castelnau, have jointly decided to delay their merger plan by six months due to Covid-19.
As reported by db in December last year, The Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) and the Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne – Champagne Castelnau (C.R.V.C.) announced that they are to merge in what was described as, ”a committed and voluntary partnership optimising the expertise and standing that both entities have acquired over the years”.
The execution date was originally scheduled to take place on 24 June this year after the voting rights of members at the ‘Extraordinary General Meeting’ of each organisation.
However, it was announced last night that the merger is now due to be completed at the end of December 2021.
According to a press release sent to db yesterday, the tight timeframe previously laid out had made it impossible to complete the Merger Treaty and accompanying technical annexes, due to be approved by respective boards of directors on 22 and 23 April.
Financial, legal and social audits have not yet been completed, particularly due to delays in integrating 2020 consolidated accounts.
The two leading Champagne cooperative groups also said that uncertainty regarding the emergence from the global Covid-19 crisis had made it “extremely difficult” to gauge how quickly Champagne sales will recover in France and worldwide.
The decision was therefore taken to postpone the project until the end of the year.
“In light of the current situation, allowing ourselves sufficient time to finalise this significant project, without additional time pressures, is crucial,” said Véronique Blin, President of CV-CNF. “Delaying the operation until 31 December is much more prudent,” she added.
“Our main objective is indeed to prepare the future with the best possible assets to ensure the successful merger of our two structures,” commented Fabrice Collin, president of the CRVC.
Between them CV-CNF and CRVC represent over 6,000 growers in Champagne.