The winemaking sector needs to get its act together and it has already started

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BY : Diego GutiérrezSeptember Tue, 2013

wine3During the pre-crisis period, the creation of new wineries and appellations proliferated. There was no self-respecting entrepreneur who did not have a stake in a winery. Now the time has come for the sector to be reorganised and the entrepreneurs with winemaking experience will remain.

Last year, according to Capital & Corporate, 6 deals were registered in the wine sector as a preview of what is to come.

LAN Wineries: €50 million venture capital exit

Mercapital and minority partners sold LAN Wineries to Portuguese group Sogrape 50 million. Lan WineryLAN, founded in 1970, is located in the municipality of Fuenmayor (La Rioja) and is dedicated exclusively to producing crianza reds, reserves and single vineyard wines with DOC Rioja, mainly. "The participation of private equity since 2002 allowed Bodegas LAN to strengthen its management team and accelerate its international expansion, mainly in the United States and Latin America, and the entry into other appellations of origin", says Diego Gutierrez, corporate finance expert at ABRA INVEST.

Sogrape Vinhos, founded in 1942, is Portugal's leading wine group. Originally a producer of Mateus Rosé wine, it is present in various Portuguese wine regions, particularly in the Douro. It also has vineyards and wineries in Argentina (Finca Flichman), Chile (Los Boldos) and New Zealand (Framingham), managing more than 1,500 hectares of vineyards. In Spain, Sogrape had until now a presence in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz), where it acquired the Sandeman Jerez winery in 2002.

The medium sector: for acquisitions 100% of companies in the sector

Bodegas El Cidacos, founded in Tudelilla in 1958, and whose reference brands are Conde Otiñano and Marqués de Abadía, has been acquired by the Russian alcoholic drinks group Lagoda.  It currently produces more than 3 million bottles a year. The winery exports its products to Europe, Russia, China and the United States. "The operation is an example of how attractive Spanish vineyards can be for foreign companies. It should also be noted that the Russian market is not usually one of the preferred markets for Spanish companies, which is why good opportunities are being missed," says Diego Gutierrez.

The Galician winery specialised in albariño Adegas Galegas has been acquired by the Galician company Martín Codax in the insolvency proceedings. In this way, Bodegas Martín Códax has now the ownership of the brands, being the most representative Veigadares, Gran Veigadares, D. Pedro de Soutomaior and Dionisos. The total amount of the operation will suppose for Bodegas Martín Códax a total investment of 3.600.000 euros.

Similarly, Pazo de Villarei (DO Rías Baixas), was acquired by HGA Bodegas y Viñedos de Altura from the Domecq group. This group is in the process of selling non-premium brand assets and has currently reached an agreement with the Reserva de la Tierra Group to acquire the table wine division with effect from 1 February 2013.

Libertas 7 sells 12% from Rioja wineries 

Libertas 7, a Valencian company controlled by the Noguera family, sold 12% of its shares in the listed company. Bodegas Riojanas to Banco de Valencia for €3.4 million. "According to the investment company, the reason for the sale of the shares corresponded to the desire to cancel debtor positions and therefore reduce the company's debt. It is an example of the fact that wineries have not been a strategic asset for many businessmen and it is time to get rid of them" analyses Diego Gutierrez.

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