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LVMH Buys BSN’s Champagne Business

December 7, 1990 GMT

PARIS (AP) _ LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Friday it has agreed to buy BSN Corp.’s Pommery & Lanson champagne business for 3.1 billion francs, or about $620 million.

A statement from LVMH, the French champagne and luxury goods company, said the agreement was ″in line with the strategic interests of the two groups.″

LVMH said the acquisition would give the company an opportunity to consolidate its position in the champagne market. It already controls the Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot labels.

The deal affirms LVMH’s desire to ″strengthen its traditional business areas, which are growing steadily and where the company has demonstrated its experience,″ the statement said.

The sale will allow BSN, which acquired Pommery and Lanson in 1984, to concentrate in food products, its main business.

At a news conference, BSN Chairman Antoine Riboud said the decision to sell the champagne assets reflected a realization that BSN could not reach its full potential in this specialized market sector.

He said BSN was handicapped because it did not handle distribution of its champagne directly, relying instead on distributors.

LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault said his company would take on debt of about 1 billion francs, or $200 million, with the purchase.

Lanson and Pommery had net profit of 80 million francs, or $16 million, last year on combined revenue of just over 1 billion francs.