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FRANCE: Boisset Family Estates buys Skalli Family Wines

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Boisset Family Estates has secured a significant presence in France's Languedoc wine region by acquiring Skalli Family Wines for an undisclosed fee.

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The deal will increase Boisset's annual volume sales by around 1m cases, to 6.8m cases, group president Jean-Charles Boisset told just-drinks today (24 November). He declined to specify financial details of the deal.

He said that the deal came about after Skalli's owner and chairman, Robert Skalli, indicated a desire to step down. "No one in the family wanted to continue [the business]," said Boisset.

The deal forms part of a general consolidation trend in France's wine industry.

The Skalli and Boisset families have been friends since the early 1980s. Both are focused on appellation wines that command premium price points, generally of US$8 per bottle and upwards. 

Boisset told just-drinks that he is particularly interested in Skalli's operations in China, but also sees opportunities in gaining greater scale in the UK and Japan. "I am very bullish about it," he said. "The business fits very well with our's and they are pioneers in the South of France, they are founders of the south."

Without disclosing figures, he said that Boisset has enjoyed a "fairly good year" so far in 2011, with growth in the US and Asia. In Europe, the firm's sales have been stable, he said, adding: "We are not doing any miracles in Europe."


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