King Power, a Pan-Asian duty-free powerhouse with interests in the Chinese alcoholic drinks market, has acquired Bordeaux's Château Bernadotte from Champagne Louis Roederer for an undisclosed sum. La Bernadotte has 100 acres of vineyards in Haut-Medoc, producing about 17,000 cases a year. It joined the Roederer stable when the Champagne house purchased second-growth Château Pichon Longueville Lalande in 2006.
“With the sale of Bernadotte, we are now concentrating our efforts on Château Pichon Lalande, Château de Pez and Château Haut-Beauséjour,” Frédéric Rouzaud, chairman of the Champagne group, told Wine Spectator. "We could eventually look after other crus classés—but nothing in mind today."
This is the second Bordeaux estate Roederer has ceded in the last year, following the sale of 64-acre Château Réaut La Gravière (rebranded Château Réaut) to a group of investors led by Yannick Evenou, managing director of Château La Dominique.
While Roederer is streamlining its Bordeaux portfolio, King Power is looking to aggressively expand. The company focuses on importing key international brands into China and other countries, primarily in Asia, through acquisition or by negotiating exclusive sale rights.
The firm was founded by managing director Antares Cheng in the 1970s and built its wealth on duty-free shopping, opening outlets throughout Asia. It has gradually diversified into other sectors, including sugar, manufacturing, real estate, restaurants, health clubs and wine. As a retailer, it already works with brands like Hennessy, Remy Martin, Dom Pérignon, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton-Rothschild. And it co-owns a joint venture called Zhong Huang with the state-owned China National Sugar & Alcohol Group corporation.