German sparkling wine group Wachenheim has sold its stake in Austrian counterpart Schlumberger.

The Austrian company, which also produces sparkling wines, bought the 10.01% stake in a deal worth EUR220 (US$284) a share. The deal means that around 25% of Schlumberger is in free float on the Austrian Stock Exchange.

Chairman Gerhard Lacher said he hopes that private investors would be tempted to snap up shares in Schlumberger after three successive years of rising share value.

The company expects revenues to rise this year thanks to rising sales of herb liqueur Rossbacher.

Officials at Schlumberger and Wachenheim could not be reached for further comment.

Wachenheim, which is based in the German winegrowing region of Pfalz, bought the stake in 2000.