|Bordeaux's biggest merchant of chateau-bottled wines, CVBG (Groupe Dourthe Kressman), plans to list on the Paris stock exchange in May, offering about 25 percent of its stock to investors. Share prices have not been announced, as the company's offering is still awaiting approval from the Commission des Operations en Bourse (similar to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States.)
Last year, CVBG sold close to $139 million worth of wine around the world. About one-third of those revenues were generated by the top wines of the region, such as classified growths. Besides trading in fine Bordeaux, CVBG also owns about 655 acres of vineyards and produces wines under various chateau names and brands. Its best known marques are Pierre Dourthe Numero 1 and Kressman Monopole.
Currently, the company is owned by three key employees: Jean-Marie Chadronnier, CEO, Patrick Jestin, head of sales and marketing, and Xavier Gouvars, financial head. They bought the company last April for about $138 million with the help of French banks and swiftly sold off part of the business dealing in Rhone and Beaujolais wines.
"This public offering is a good way to provide capital for the company," said Chadronnier. "More and more wine companies in France are going public, and we believe our company represents a good investment. Of course, the market is slightly slower this year for selling Bordeaux, but there is never a better time than another to be listed. So we are continuing with the plan."
A number of French wine companies have either gone public or are going public this year, such as Burgundy producers Cottin Freres and Laroche, and several Champagne houses, including Charles de Cazanove.
To read about other recent stock offerings in France:
Burgundy Chef Lists on Stock Market
Family-Owned Burgundy Producer Offers Public Stock
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