Moët Hennessy has secured majority control of a Chinese spirit company.

The wine and spirits arm of French company LVMH announced yesterday (16 May) that it has bought a 55% stake in Wen Jun Distillery. The current owner of the white spirit company, Jiannanchun, will hold the remaining 45%. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Moët Hennessy said it plans to invest in the Wen Jun brand as well as in production facilities at the distillery.

"This investment in China's spirits industry signals an important strategic move for Moët Hennessy as it seeks to contribute to the development of the Chinese premium spirits market," said Moët Hennessy's president, Christophe Navarre. "Hennessy Cognac has been distributed with success in China since 1859 and Moët Hennessy has developed a deep understanding of the Chinese market, which has enabled us to apply our extensive expertise of harnessing and developing premium brands.

"We look forward to working closely with our partner Jiannanchun to realise the true potential of the Wen Jun brand."

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Moët Hennessy declined to give further details of the transaction, saying only that the company saw this as "a good opportunity to partner with a leading domestic spirits company in China".

The Wen Jun Distillery is based in Qionglai in the south-west province of Sichuan. White spirits have been produced at the Wen Jun Distillery for over 450 years.

Jiannanchun is the third largest spirits producer in China, and is privately-held following a management buyout in 2004.