Hacienda y Viñedos Marqués del Atrio, one of the main wine groups in D.O. Rioja, and the Chinese listed group Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Inc. have agreed to enter a strategic partnership that involves Changyu acquiring a significant share capital of Marqués del Atrio. With this agreement, Marqués del Atrio intends to become the third largest bodega in Spain by 2020 with a turnover exceeding 100 million euros.
For Jesús Rivero, chairman of Marqués del Atrio, “having a leading company such as Changyu as a shareholder will help improve our presence in the Asian markets, especially in China, which is the fifth largest producer of wine worldwide and where we already have been selling our wines for years”. Marques del Atrio is one of the five largest bodegas in D.O. Rioja, and it produces a total of twenty million bottles a year in its four bodegas, which are distributed throughout the country.
On the other hand, Zhou Hongjiang, chairman of Changyu, has said, "if we want to make Changyu a group that competes globally with the sector's heavyweights, we must have bodegas in the main wine regions of the world". This is not the first investment carried out by the Changyu Group in Europe, as it currently owns wineries in Italy and France, which were purchased in recent years, and it is involved in different joint ventures and vineyards in Italy, Canada and New Zealand. With this operation, Changyu reinforces its ambitious growth plan with which it intends to increase its international presence in France, Spain, Italy, Australia and South America.
This partnership was sealed with a cake, following Chinese tradition.
The partnership was entered at the Hotel Eurostar Tower in Madrid, an event that was attended by important figures in the Spanish wine, food and distribution industry. The event was led by Juan Antonio Samaranch, CEO of GBS Finanzas, an investment bank that provided advisory services during the operation, and he stated that, "Spain is China's best friend in the Western world. And China has always been a loyal and good friend of Spain". Carlos Falcó, marquee of Griñón and vice-chairman of Real Academia de Gastronomía de España (the Royal Spanish Academy of Gastronomy), highlighted the fact that this was a historical moment in the wine world. “Spain and China are two millenarian countries whose cultures are strongly influenced by wine and gastronomy, and this operation will exponentially increase the International prestige of Spanish wines”.
About Changyu Pioneer Wine
Established in 1892 in Yantai, province of Shandong, Changyu Pioneer Wine is the main wine group in China and one of the 10 most important worldwide, producing over 130,000 tons of wine a year. Its range of products includes wines, brandies, liquors and champagne. The company is currently listed in the Chinese Stock Market with a market capitalisation exceeding 3,000 million euro. Among its shareholders are the team of executives, private Chinese investors and the Italian family group Illva Saronno.