Les Grands Chais de France has strengthened its presence in the Loire Valley with the acquisition of leading producer LaCheteau for an undisclosed sum.

The company has bought LaCheteau's stocks, vineyards and brands as well as a 130-hectare property, Château Mongueret, which covers the Anjou, Saumur and Côteaux du Layon appellations.

LaCheteau specialises in sparkling Loire wines - Saumur Brut and Crémant de Loire - and has also developed a range of modern Loire brands such as Kiwi Cuvée.

Tim North, UK director for Les Grands Chais de France, said: "LaCheteau is a very forward-thinking producer in the Loire, with great expertise in the sparkling wine category and some excellent brands.

"We're excited about exploring opportunities in traditional method sparkling wines and exploiting the potential of Kiwi Cuvée alongside our Vinival brand, Champteloup."

Les Grands Chais de France, France's biggest wine exporter, sells 17% of all French bottled wine exports. The company's J.P. Chenet brand is the world's best-selling French wine brand, with annual sales of 7.4m cases.

The company entered the Loire Valley last July, with the purchase of Vinival.