LVMH Takes Stake in Colgin Cellars

Colgin Cellars.
Colgin Cellars / Photo courtesy of LVMH / Facebook.

LVMH Group took a 60 percent equity stake in the Colgin Cellars, one of the California cult wines, for an undisclosed sum, the companies said Tuesday. Ann Colgin, who founded the Napa winery in 1992, and her husband, Joe Wender, will retain a 40 percent stake and maintain their positions.

Chief Operating Officer Paul Roberts and winemaker Allison Tauziet will also remain. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LVMH ADRs, listed on the over-the-counter market, were up 1.02 percent to $59.08 in midday trade after the deal was announced. The home of Dom Pèrignon, Veuve Clicquot, Krug and Hennessy, among many other luxury brands.

LVMH has been undergoing a generational change: Christophe Navarre, who had lead LVMH’s wine and spirits division for 20 years, was replaced by Philippe Schaus, previously chief executive of the company’s travel retail outlet DFS Group.

Colgin Cellars’ success was built on its ultra-premium, limited-production wines, all of which receive consistently high ratings. The wines are sold primarily through its client list and distributed to high-end restaurants and retailers in the United States and more than 30 countries. If a consumer or retailer is not on the client list (and there is a long wait to get on), they may be able to get a bottle at auction.

Ann Colgin once told Sotheby’s Jamie Ritchie, currently head of the auction house’s global wine business that her favorite wine and vintage from Colgin Cellars was the 2002 Tychson Hill. “It was our first 100-point wine and it from the first vineyard I planted on my own property.” A bottle, on average, costs $832, plus tax, according to wine-searcher.

Colgin said in a press release that it was after meeting Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, several months ago that she realized she couldn’t “find a better partner for Colgin Cellars to preserve our founding spirit and our exquisitely handcrafted red wines, into the future.”

Arnault, whom Forbes estimates is worth $64.3 billion, welcomed Colgin Cellars to the LVMH fold, saying he was “delighted to welcome Colgin’s unique heritage into LVMH, reaffirming our strategy of selective acquisition of the best existing terroirs, and enriching our collection of iconic wines such as Château Cheval Blanc, Château d’Yquem or Domaine du Clos des Lambrays.”

Published on November 21, 2017
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