Bright Food Group To Buy 70% Stake In Independent Wine Broker Diva Bordeaux
As Chinese companies and wealthy investors continue to buy Bordeaux châteaux — roughly 20 have found new Chinese owners in the last four years, with 10 more acquisitions expected by the end of this year — and the popularity of Bordeaux reds among Chinese wine drinkers stays high (despite the growing interest in Burgundy and New World wines), China’s presence in the famed wine-growing region is becoming ever larger. Now, that presence is set to get a serious boost with the news that China’s second-largest food maker, Bright Food Group, plans to purchase a 70 percent stake in the independent wine broker Diva Bordeaux.
Bright Food Group has been on an overseas spending spree as of late, buying a 60 percent stake in the British cereal maker Weetabix last month in the largest-ever overseas acquisition by a Chinese company in the food and beverage sector.
“Diva will be able to reinforce its international development, especially in China, through Bright Food’s distribution network, which includes hundreds of shops,” Bright Food said in a statement.
“This deal is contingent on Shanghai Sugar, Cigarette and Wine (SSCW) acquiring a stake in Diva Bordeaux,” the state-owned company added, referring to one of its subsidiaries.
The move further cements China’s presence in the French wine market.
Consumers in China and Hong Kong accounted for half of the export value of Bordeaux wines in 2011 – €342m according to the CIVB.
Though top-flight Bordeaux has fallen somewhat out of the limelight at recent Hong Kong wine auctions, taking a backseat to Burgundy big-shots like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, China’s demand for Bordeaux wines has been instrumental in the region’s success over the past several years. (Particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis, when international demand took a hit.)
Along with providing the inspiration for seemingly hundreds of articles on a regular basis, China’s demand for high-end wine is also leading interested observers to branch into film. Early next year, as the Drinks Business points out, an Australian feature-length documentary entitled “Red Obsession,” featuring commentary by Francis Ford Coppola and UK chat show host Michael Parkinson, will explore “the mutual obsession between China and Bordeaux.”