Michelin buys 40 percent stake in Robert Parker wine guide firm

FILE PHOTO - The logo of French tyre maker Michelin is seen on an empty podium during the company's First-Half 2015 results presentation in Paris, France, July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - Michelin MICP.PA, the tire giant and owner of the Michelin gourmet restaurant guide, has bought a 40 percent stake in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate - the fine wine guide of influential critic Robert Parker.

Parker is considered by many within the industry as the world’s most powerful wine critic, and Michelin said in a statement that the acquisition would enrich the restaurant guide part of its business.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Parker, who has had an unprecedented impact on the world of wine through his 100-point scoring system that can make or break wineries, founded the Robert Parker Wine Advocate in 1978. His publication produces nearly 40,000 reviews annually.

The Robert Parker Wine Advocate and Michelin have already been working together since 2016 in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau on upmarket wine and dining events.

Alexandre Taisne, chief executive officer of Michelin’s Food and Travel Business, told Reuters by phone: “These services, which are aimed at creating memorable experiences, will be rolled out in Asia, the United States and Europe by 2019.”

The majority of the capital of Robert Parker Wine Advocate is currently in the hands of Asian investors.

France awarded Robert Parker the Legion of Honour award in 1999 to commemorate the U.S. critic’s work.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Additional reporting by Pascale Denis; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta