German-based drinks group Eckes AG has sold its German alcoholic drinks subsidiary Eckes Spirituosen & Wein GmbH (ESW) to the German sparkling wine producer Rotkaeppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien for an undisclosed sum.

Eckes said the move formed part of its strategy to focus on fruit juice production. last year, ESW, which produces brands such as Eckes Edelkirsch, Chantre, Mariacron and Echter Nordhaeuser, generated sales of EUR250m (US$320m).

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year. ESW employs some 210 people and while the sale is reported to have included the workforce it is not clear whether Rotkaeppchen-Mumm will cut jobs as it integrates the business.

However, Rotkaeppchen-Mumm's chief executive Gunter Heise said he believed the ESW product range complemented Rotkaeppchen-Mumm's existing activities very well. He added that the acquisition would make Rotkaeppchen-Mumm one of leading alcoholic drinks producers in Germany.

The acquisition will also give the company a chance to grow. With Rotkaeppchen-Mumm already controlling around 34.2% of the sparkling wine market in Germany, Heise believes growth potential for the company in the sparkling wine market is limited.