Remy Sells Champagne Unit To EPIMay 31, 2011
Following months of negotiations, Rémy Cointreau has sold off its underperforming Champagne business—including the Piper and Charles Heidsieck brands—to family owned French firm EPI for €412 million ($593m), slightly above the €300-€400 million ($432-576m) range at which the business was generally valued. (LVMH was reportedly turned away with a €300 million bid last December). The deal, which will see Rémy continue to distribute the Heidsieck labels in global markets, also includes the Piper Sonoma brand in the U.S.
Rémy’s P&C Heidsieck Champagne unit, while increasing turnover 7% to €104 million ($150m) in the year through March, showed lackluster profitability for Rémy, which is keenly focused on expanding its flagship Rémy Martin Cognac label, among others. “The sale is entirely consistent with the acceleration of our value strategy, which focuses on our international Liqueurs & Spirits brands and businesses,” said Jean-Marie Laborde, Rémy’s ceo.
The Champagne business joins an EPI stable including luxury goods brands like JM Weston, Alain Figaret and Bonpoint, as well as Luberon’s Chateau La Verrerie. The Piper and Charles Heidsieck brands had dipped more than most Champagnes during the downturn, but last year rebounded sharply. Piper lost 265,000 cases—more than one-third of its volume—in two years from 2007 through 2009, but grew by 24% last year to rise above 500,000 cases in global sales, according to Impact Databank.
|Rémy Cointreau SA – Champagne Sales by Market
(thousands of nine-liter cases)
|1addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
2based on unrounded data
Source: IMPACT DATABANK