FRANCE: Boizel secures Lanson deal
Boizel Chanoine Champagne has struck a deal to buy rival Champagne producer Lanson International for around EUR120m (US$101m).
Boizel secured an agreement yesterday (22 December) with Lanson's two shareholders, French bank Caisse d'Epargne and the Mora family.
Boizel, which has bought brands including Lanson and Bellefon, will also take on around EUR400m in debt from the ailing producer. Caisse d'Epargne last year took a 44% stake in Lanson in an effort to refinance the company but debts have since mounted.
Bruno Paillard, Boizel's chief executive, told just-drinks today that the company's acquisition of Lanson should be completed in February.
"It's an opportunity for BCC to acquire a brand better than its existing ones," Paillard said, referring to the Lanson brand. "We also expect to export a bigger percentage of our production."
As well as its flagship brands, Lanson also produces a significant amount of cut-price, buyers-own-brand Champagne, assets that were said to be less attractive to potential bidders.
Paillard refused to be drawn on whether Boizel would focus on Lanson's brands and spin off its economy Champagne assets.
"We have purchased the whole group, not just Champagne Lanson. We will comment more on strategy in February."
Champagne has already seen significant merger and acquisition activity in the past year or so, but there could be further deals in the pipeline, writes Nuria Sadurni of Euromonitor International....
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