Family of French billionaire Pinault strikes wine merger deal

Bottles of wine are displayed on a stand at Wine Paris & Vinexpo at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles center in Paris, France, February 14, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The family of French luxury goods billionaire Francois Pinault, whose main business interest is the fashion company Kering (PRTP.PA), has struck a new wine deal bringing various top brands together, the parties involved said on Friday.

The Pinault and Henriot families, owners of Artémis Domaines and Maisons & Domaines Henriot respectively, said they were pooling together their wine estates in a merger. The deal would unite brands such as Chateau Latour, owned by the Pinault family, along with labels such as Champagne Henriot.

Earlier this month, the French farm ministry said champagne production in France was expected to almost double this year, with overall wine production up 16% compared with 2021.

"The merger of Maisons & Domaines Henriot and Artémis Domaines is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the treasures of our wine heritage under the same banner," said Francois Pinault in a statement.

LVMH (LVMH.PA), the fashion and luxury company run by Pinault's rival French billionaire Bernard Arnault, has also struck new deals in the wine and champagne industry over the last year, such as the acquisition of a 50% stake in rap star Jay-Z's Armand de Brignac champagne brand.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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