Raphaël Michel negotiates with bidders for take-over

Thursday February 15 2018 by Vitisphere

Currently under observation, Raphaël Michel's future hinges on the outcome of the safeguard plan.Currently under observation, Raphaël Michel's future hinges on the outcome of the safeguard plan.

Raphaël Michel has entered into negotiations to secure the best takeover proposal ", said a statement released by the Rhone wine merchant’s press agency. Specifying that “the group is still in the negotiating phase and considering applications”, it said it did not wish to comment further. The low-profile discussions are part of the safeguard procedure ruled by the Montpellier commercial court last summer. France’s self-proclaimed “leading merchant and wine blender” ran up debts of 20 million euros due, according to the group's executives, to the impact of the short 2017 crop on cash flow. Members of the Rhone wine industry, however, see it as a consequence of suspicions of fraud that emerged last summer, involving 300,000 hectolitres of wine.

The Montpellier commercial court, which is due to rule on 12 March, is said to have selected two applicants for the take-over. According to insider information, the first proposal is reported to be a combined bid by the American giant Bronco Wine and the Grands Chais de France group (GCF), whilst the second is allegedly a partnership between the French group Capwine and investors. Despite its liabilities, Raphaël Michel has attracted interest due to its huge production facilities for bulk wines. After a period of rapid expansion, the wine merchant took ownership of a 100,000-hectolitre winery in Piolenc and 400 hectares of vineyards, in addition to subsidiary companies and even a logistics platform for New World wines (Oenotria Cluster).



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