Spain's biggest sparkling-wine maker Freixenet will be sold to German wine maker Henkell & Co., part of Germany’s largest food and beverage manufacturer Oetker Group. Spanish leading newspaper El País reported last week, that two of the three owner families, Hevia and Bonet, agreed to sell 50.7% of the company while Freixenet’s president José Luis Bonet, and the Ferrer family will keep their remaining 49.3%. Sources close to the family reported that the deal will be closed shortly. Last week there have been several meetings in Germany but so far no contract was signed. A meeting of Freixenet’s board of directors on Thursday last week ended without a decision. It is said that Oetker values the business at around €500 million.
Freixenet invoiced €535.1 million in its last fiscal year, 1.15% more than the year before. The company almost quadrupled its profit, up to €8.4 million.
Rumors about a sale of the company to the largest privately owned German wine and beer conglomerate came already up in 2016. (inside.beer, 15.12.2016) The Hevia family, which holds 42% of Freixenet's shares and whose speaker Enrique Hevia is vice-president of the company , was dissatisfied with the profitability of the company and the management of the company, which they consider erratic.
Oetker, which is also owner of Germany’s largest beer group Radeberger, is also involved in a beer cartel case dating back to 2014. Its CEO Albert Christmann, who took over the helm from patriarch Richard Oetker at the end of last year, is said to accept now a fine of €160 million, which was imposed on the company and himself by the German Federal Cartel Office. (inside.beer, 19.2.2018)