The Centre Vinicole - Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF) and the Coopérative Régionale des Vins de Champagne - Champagne Castelnau (CRVC) have decided to postpone their merger negotiations until the end of December 2021.
Originally, the companies had set the date for 24 June 2020, when an extraordinary general meeting was to seal the agreement of both parties to the project.
According to Nicolas Feuillatte, the contractual bases, which were to be presented by the respective boards of directors on 22 and 23 April this year, could not have been finalised within the short time frame. The financial, legal and social audits have not yet been fully completed, in particular due to the late integration of the 2020 consolidated financial statements, the house announced.
The background is also the unpredictable end of the health crisis, which does not yet allow an assessment of the recovery of the Champagne business in France and internationally.
"In the current context, it is important that we give ourselves the necessary time to complete this important project without deadline pressure," says the president of CV-CNF, Véronique Blin. Postponing the decisions until the end of the year therefore makes more sense, she said.
"Preparing for the future by equipping ourselves with the best assets to make the merger a success remains an important objective of our two structures," also underpins Fabrice Collin, president of the CRVC.
The companies had named the strengthening of the political balance in Champagne as a common goal of the merger. Within five years, they wanted to become the second player in Champagne in terms of turnover, directly after the Moët-Hennessy group.
The CV-CNF says it is already the largest producer in the region with an annual turnover of €212 million. It is formed of 5,000 winegrowers and 72 cooperatives. CRVC unites 750 winegrowers and 23 cooperatives. itp