FRANCE: Loire producer backs UB deal
Loire wine producer Bouvet-Ladubay has welcomed its sale to UB Group, just weeks after the Indian drinks giant faced opposition in France over its interest in Champagne house Taittinger.
UB chairman Dr. Vijay Mallya announced last night (4 July) that it had bought Bouvet-Ladubay from US hotel group Starwood Capital for an undisclosed sum.
Starwood snapped up the Loire producer last year when it bought out its owner, Société du Louvre, which also owned Taittinger. The Champagne house was sold last month to French bank Crédit Agricole, which had backed a bid from members of the Taittinger family.
UB, which had been interested in buying Taittinger, pulled out of the running amid opposition in France over the prospect of a foreign company picking up the world's sixth-largest Champagne house.
However, Bouvet-Ladubay CEO Patrice Monmousseau, said he was "delighted" with the deal, which will see the company become UB's first direct investment outside Asia.
Monmousseau said: "Dr. Mallya deeply respects our local values and culture. His choice to acquire Bouvet-Ladubay is a great recognition for our brand and will enable (us) to increase the international development not only of our company, but also of the whole Saumur region."
Dr. Mallya said UB's strength in emerging wine markets - including India - would benefit Bouvet-Ladubay. "We are committed to developing Bouvet's great brands internationally, including the emerging markets where we have a strong presence, while respecting its core values and continuing the leadership of Patrice Monmousseau," he said.
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