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Champagne’s largest grower-cooperative set to acquire Henriot

Champagne’s largest cooperative group, Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne (TEVC) – which owns Nicolas Feuillatte – looks set to acquire Champagne Henriot from Artémis Domaines.

According to press information sent to db this morning by CEO of the Champagne grower-cooperative group, Christophe Juarez, it was stated that Artémis Domaines “has entered into exclusive negotiations” with TEVC for the sale of Champagne Henriot.

Continuing, it was noted that “After receiving and considering several purchase offers, Artémis Domaines has chosen the one from TEVC,” which, the cooperative group said “provides the best guarantees for preserving the savoir-faire of this emblematic Champagne house”.

It was also stated that Henriot’s positioning, and distribution network are “fully in line with TEVC’s premiumisation strategy,” while the “transaction will be subject to customary regulatory approvals.”

In October last year, Champagne Henriot became part of Artémis Domaines as the latter company, which is majority owned by the Pinault family, merged with Maisons & Domaines Henriot – which owns Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune, William Fèvre in Chablis and Beaux Frères in Oregon alongside the Champagne house.

Artémis Domaines, which owns Château Latour, Clos de Tart and Château-Grillet, among other properties, completed the purchase of Champagne Jacquesson in December last year, having taken a 33% stake in the house in February.

This meant that Artémis Domaines, which is most famous for its First Growth Bordeaux property, had acquired two Champagne houses within the same year, which could explain the decision to put one of them up for sale.

As for TEVC, before today’s announcement, the grower-cooperative group behind Nicolas Feuillatte had acquired Champagne house Henri Abelé from the Freixenet Group.

With this deal completed in May 2019, it was a “unique” transaction in Champagne at that time, according to the group, as it involved a grower-cooperative buying a négociant business – TEVC took on Henri Abelé ‘s properties and grower contracts (although no vineyards, as the house had no land in Champagne).

However, because the two types of operations have a different legal status in France, Henri Abelé is run as a standalone business, with its grape supply and winemaking kept independent from the grower-cooperative’s operations, which are on a significantly greater scale: Henri Abelé sells around 400,000 bottles annually compared to TEVC’s production of well over 20m bottles each year.

Terroirs et Vignerons de Champagne (TEVC) is the largest Union of Champagne cooperatives, comprising 82 cooperatives which represent nearly 6000 wine-growers across 2750 hectares.

It is most famous for the Nicolas Feuillatte brand, which is the best-selling Champagne in France and sells worldwide over 10 million bottles annually, making it the region’s third largest brand after Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

db has contacted TEVC for further comment on the transaction and hopes to provide more information on the sale of Henriot soon.

Read more

Pinault family strikes merger deal with Maisons & Domaines Henriot

Pinault family acquires Champagne Jacquesson

Nicolas Feuillatte acquires Henri Abelé

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