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Clarins: acquisition of Château Beauséjour, Grand Cru Classé B

Clarins: acquisition of Château Beauséjour, Grand Cru Classé B

On Wednesday, April 7, the Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural (Safer) de Nouvelle-Aquitaine finally awarded Château Beauséjour, the first grand cru classé B of Saint-Emilion, associated with Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse, one of the heiresses of the estate, to the Clarins cosmetics group. A sale estimated at 75 million euros.

 

In its press release, Safer, a non-profit company with general interest missions and placed under the supervision of the State, specifies that the transfer will be made “under the condition of guaranteeing and securing the installation” of the young farmer. The property must also be maintained “in its entirety by not dividing up the parcels, so as not to hinder the maintenance of the Saint-Emilion 1er grand cru classé classification.”

 

Without naming them, Safer said it had received four applications for this prestigious Bordeaux estate of 6.24 hectares owned since 1847 by the Duffau-Lagarrosse family, who put it up for sale in summer 2020.

 

One of the most coveted areas

 

As a reminder, the estate was coveted by two relatives, the Cuvelier family, owners of Clos Fourtet, and by Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, CEO of Château Angélus, but “on a strictly personal basis” for the latter and not in the name of her estate.

 

The Courtin-Clarins family (Clarins group) had presented itself as the main investor in the offer of Joséphine Duffau-Lagarrosse, 30, and initially opposed to the sale by her family, according to the local press.

 

A transfer full of twists and turns

 

Of course, the transfer was not without obstacles. In November, a majority of the family’s owner partners chose the Cuveliers. Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal did not obtain any votes. But the responsibility for the sale was then entrusted to Safer.

 

In a press release issued on 31 March, the Cuvelier family criticized the Safer technical commission for having “reshuffled the cards in dubious conditions”, even though they had “won the tender fairly”, in association with a young farmer.

 

In mid-March, the departmental technical committee of the Safer had given a favorable advisory opinion to Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal. It was examined by a regional validation committee, which referred the final decision to the regional board of directors.

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But in the end, the board chose a third way, deciding “to maintain the property (…) in its entirety by not dividing up the plot of land, so as not to hinder the maintenance of the classification” of Beauséjour and to “maintain the historical link between this farm and one of the members of the Duffau-Lagarrosse family”.

 

“The committee has no power of decision on the allocation. Yesterday, it was the board of directors that met for the first time. It chose not to follow this advice in order to give priority to ‘installation’. Safer also explains that it wanted to “maintain the historical link between this winegrowing operation and one of the members of the Duffau-Lagarrosse family”, Safer Nouvelle-Aquitaine director Michel Lachat told Libération, assuring that the opinion issued by the technical committee in March 2021 was purely “consultative”. 

 

Read also > THE TERRITORIAL ANCHORING OF FRENCH LUXURY AND ITS JOB AT THE HEART OF THE COMITE COLBERT’S PRIORITIES

 

Featured Photo : © Press

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