Champage Gosset has confirmed itself as the buyer of Laurent-Perrier's Chateau Malakoff in Epernay, as the family-owned firm looks to restructure its operations.

Gosset said today (10 August) that it has acquired Malakoff, a former mansion with Champagne production facilities, for an undisclosed fee. Laurent-Perrier announced in its quarterly results last month that it had disposed of the Chateau.

Gosset, founded in 1584 and which sells 1.1m bottles per year, will use Malakoff as an administration headquarters and a production base, enabling it to cut down on the number of locations from which it operates.

"Until now we have spread the company across up to five different locations. Now we can operate from just two," said Gosset CEO Jean-Pierre Cointreau.

"We have made this purchase with the full backing of our bankers," he said, adding: "Opportunities for an acquisition of this type are very rare and I am pleased to report that Gosset, while feeling the pinch like its fellow Champagne companies, is in a strong enough position to add this jewel to the company's crown." 

There are full production facilities at Malakoff - from the cuverie to packing lines. The recently installed fermentation room has a capacity of 28,000 hectolitres.

Cointreau said: "The superb, beautiful, cellars dug into the chalky soil of Champagne will enable us to age our prestige cuvées for eight to ten years and we have cellaring space for there up to 2m bottles."

Laurent-Perrier said that it had disposed of Malakoff as part of a cost savings drive. While declining to disclose a fee for the sale, the group said that the deal is expected to have a material benefit on finances over 2009 and 2010.