Confirmed: Colombian-American investor buys 20% of Petrus

The news emerging from Bordeaux that the storied Pomerol estate Petrus has sold a 20% stake to a Colombian-American investor has been confirmed by the winery.

Photo: Sotheby’s

Speaking to the drinks business, a spokesman for the property was able to confirm that details in the French press regarding the sale were true and accurate, Alejandro Santo Domingo has acquired a 20% stake in the famous property in a deal that took place a year ago.

The only detail the estate did not wish to confirm was the amount paid although it is reputed to have been €200 million.

As originally reported by La Revue du Vin de France, the transaction (if true) is the most expensive price per hectare ever paid in Bordeaux – or indeed anywhere else.

The LRVF article mentioned no name but it was a later story in Les Echos, which named the investor as Alejandro Santo Domingo, a Colombian-American businessman who also owns substantial shares in mega brewer AB InBev as he is chairman of Grupo Empresarial Bavaria which was a subsidiary brewery of SAB Miller. He is married to heiress Lady Charlotte Wellesley, the daughter of the Duke of Wellington.

The report continues that Santo Domingo and the Moueix family have known each other for a long time and the deal actually took place a year ago but was never formally disclosed.

There is apparently no intention on the part of the Moueix family to step back from the owning and running of Petrus but the investment is seen as necessary to the development of the business.

The whole estate has apparently been valued at €1 billion (also a record for a domaine) and thus a 20% cut would amount to €200m.

As Petrus has some 11.4 hectares of vineyard, that further breaks down to €87m per hectare – of vineyards on Pomerol’s famous plateau that is.

To put this into context, when François Pinault’s Groupe Artemis bought Clos de Tart in late 2017, it paid at least €200m for the entire 7.5ha property making a hectare (of grand cru Morey-St-Denis at least) cost around €26m.

Meanwhile, St Emilion premier grand cru classé Troplong Mondot was sold to the French insurance firm SCOR Group for €178m last year – the equivalent of €7m p/ha, well above the acknowledged prices of €2-4m p/ha for top St Emilion vineyards.

Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix has been contacted for comment.

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