Chateau Lascombes sold to French insurer MACSF

After months of speculation Chateau Lascombes has been sold to French insurance group MACSF by its US-based owners, private equity firm Colony Capital, according to a report in the Sud Ouest.

MACSF are believed to have paid in the region of 200 million Euros for the 84 hectare Margaux second growth. According to the Journal du Dimanche, who broke the story of the sale, this figure is ten times Colony Capital’s original investment. However, at the time of their acquisition of a 53% stake in 2001 reports of the price paid ranged from $67 million (€47 million) to 550 million Francs (€77 million). The remaining shareholders were the descendants of Tony Ryan, the founder of Ryanair, and a group of other individual investors. In a recent article entitled: “Valuing the great estates of Bordeaux – who is in the €50m club ?” Liv-ex, the fine wine exchange, estimated the value of Lascombes at just under €161 million, using their own calculations of total income and a multiple derived from previously reported transactions. Given that the purchase price of €200 million apparently includes €30-50 million of stock this would appear to be a fair price based on this valuation methodology. According to various reports there were five parties involved in the final round of bidding, three of whom were overseas buyers.

This is the first forray into wine production for the MACSF, who are the leading insurer to health service professionals and manage assets of 20 billion Euros. They will join the ranks of French insurance companies such as AXA (Pichon-Longueville and Suduiraut) and SMABTP (Cantemerle) who have invested in classified Bordeaux estates although at a time when others have decided to exit these investments, notably GMF with the sale of its stake in Chateau Beychevelle to Castel and Suntory.

Alexander Hall