French wines and spirits group, Belvedere SA, has welcomed a new shareholder in the shape of holding company CL Financial.

Based in Trinidad and Tobago, its portfolio of interests includes the ownership of rum and whisky distilleries.

Through an increase in Belvedere's capital and also the acquisition of shares relinquished by existing shareholders, CL Financial's stake could be as much as 21.18%.

Belvedere expects to post a 2002 turnover of €230m compared to €135m the previous year.

Turnover could rise to just over €400m in 2003 as the group develops its activities in Poland and Russia.