LVMH has bought a 50% stake in St-Emilion’s ChÃ¢teau Cheval Blanc from its billionaire chairman and controlling shareholder, Bernard Arnault.
However financial terms were not disclosed in the release, which pointedly failed to mention that LVMH was acquiring the Bordeaux wine from Arnault.
Arnault, reputedly France’s richest man, bought Cheval-Blanc with Belgian businessman Albert FrÃ¨re in 1998 for a reported â‚¬155m.
The vineyard area is spread over 41 hectares, with 37 hectares planted with an unusual composition of grape varieties of 57% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, and small parcels of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The average annual production is 6000 cases of the Grand vin and 2500 cases of the second wine, Le Petit Cheval.
The deal also includes a 50% stake in Arnault’s company La Tour du Pin, which owns another St-Emilion domaine, ChÃ¢teau Quinault L’Enclos.
LVMH said the addition of the Premier Grand Cru ClassÃ© Cheval Blanc and the Grand Cru ClassÃ© Quinault would ‘complement the LVMH portfolio of super-premium wines’.
The company already dominates the Champagne market and owns a range of still wines, including ChÃ¢teau d’Yquem, Cloudy Bay, Cape Mentelle and Terrazas.