Wine Spectator: Hostile Takeover of Portugal’s Sogrape Is DefeatedDecember 20, 2012
A legal fight over who controls Portugal’s largest wine company has come to an end, Wine Spectator reports. Sogrape, the company behind Mateus and Sandeman, is now firmly under the control of one of its founding families. After six years of litigation, José Berardo is selling his 32% stake in Sogrape to the majority shareholders—the Guedes family—and their partners. The sale will end Berardo’s attempt to take over Sogrape, a firm with 3,800 acres of vineyards and brands including Sandeman and Mateus, with 2011 sales of $236 million.
Three separate families founded Sogrape in 1942—the Guedes family, the Carmo family and the Correia da Silva family. Since the 1980s, the Guedes clan has controlled it. When the Carmos wanted to exit, they sold their third to Berardo for roughly $60 million in 2006. Berardo is the ninth-richest man in Portugal, worth $786 million, according to 2012 media reports, and owns Quinta da Bacalhôa, which controls 2,700 acres of vineyards. With September’s deal to buy out Berardo, the Guedes family now owns more than 80% of Sogrape, with the Correia da Silva family gaining a larger share too.