Grands Chais de France to Buy German Giant Zimmermann Graeff

The French market leader Les Grands Chais de France seems set take over the German winery Zimmermann Graeff & Müller (ZGM).

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ZGM in Zell, Germany
ZGM in Zell, Germany

According to the German publication Lebensmittel Zeitung, on 17 February, merger control proceedings were launched at the Federal Cartel Office for the acquisition of all shares in ZGM.

Grand Chais de France told our sister publication WEINWIRTSCHAFT: "It is true that we have notified our intention to take over ZGM to the Federal Cartel Office for examination and clearance under merger control law. The takeover still depends on various factors. One of these is the merger control clearance. Whether there will be a participation on the part of GCF is not certain at this point in time."

ZGM is Germany's third largest and the second largest privately owned winery, with a turnover of €144.5m to date. ZGM is also one of the largest wine exporters in Germany; 52% of its business is generated abroad. Besides popular brands like Michel Schneider and Heinrich Lorch, ZGM also produces private labels, a sector that has recently proven difficult.

Les Grands Chais de France already owns the HxM winery in Mainz-Hechtsheim, one of the largest and most modern wineries in Germany and enjoys substantial sales with its Grand Sud and J.P. Chenet French brands.

Together with ZGM, the HxM winery is likely to account for sales of around 140m bottles, which would put the German wineries of Grands Chais de France on a par with Edeka's Rheinbergkellerei as number 2 in Germany. Les Grands Chais de France itself is the largest wine producer in Europe with a turnover of €1.3bn and sales of more than 500m bottles. CG


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