Bernard Arnault likes a certain shade of blue — and pale pink, too.
Capping off a week in which his luxury empire LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton struck an agreement to buy Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, its wines and spirits division took a majority stake in Château d’Esclans, producer of the prestige rosé wine Garrus and Whispering Angel, billed as the top-selling French rosé in the U.S.
The group said Sacha Lichine, president of Château d’Esclans, would continue to oversee the estate, while ceding 5 percent of his shares to Moët Hennessy, which also acquired the 50 percent stake held by Alix AM Pte Ltd., Lichine’s partner since 2008.
The transaction value was not disclosed.
Philippe Schaus, chief executive offer of Moët Hennessy, said Lichine “revolutionized the world of Provence rosé wine” when he acquired Château d’Esclans in 2006 and drove it upscale, producing high-end wines that established themselves as luxury products.
The original Château d’Esclans, set in the department of the Var, dates back to before the 12th century while the current château, resembling a Tuscan villa, was built in the mid-19th century. The estate stretches across 660 acres and the primary grapes grown on the property are of Grenache and Vermentino varieties.
LVMH also owns Château Cheval Blanc and Château d’Yquem, and counts 21 brands in its wines and spirits division — earlier this year revealing plans to buy its first rosé wine estate, the historic Château du Galoupet, that sits on the Riviera overlooking the Hyères Islands.
The luxury group has been bulking up its presence in the hospitality sector, buying luxury hotels group Belmond earlier this year — snagging high-end hotels like the Cipriani in Venice — and last week set an April opening date for its Cheval Blanc hotel in Central Paris, which will have restaurants, sweeping views of the Seine River and a spa operated by Dior, another LVMH-owned label.