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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Jack Hibberd

Victor Redondo, president of Spanish wine giant Arco, is aiming to raise e150 million to drive an international expansion of the group. The capital, raised from investors and the funds of Arco's shareholders, will be placed into an international wine and wine tourism investment fund' that will become the fourth separate interest that Arco controls. Currently Arco has majority control of large-volume producer Berberano, premium wine company Haciendas de Espaa and the international distributor for the group, United Wineries. The fund, named Enartis, will be managed by Arco's wholly owned subsidiary, Arco Asset Management. I hope to have the funds in place by late 2004 or early 2005,' Redondo told Harpers. We are then looking to invest in premium wine estates in Portugal, Argentina and southern Italy.' The Argentinian part of the project will be based around Bodegas Martins, the underperforming Mendoza-based winery that Arco has owned for six years. It has suffered in the past from being almost a corporate orphan, with most of our attention on building up our Spanish projects,' explained Redondo. But we have spent the past three years working on the winery and vineyard and we now need some extra funds to really take things forward.' Redondo added that Arco is also looking to buy a vineyard site in Tupangato or Salta for developing into a premium wine business. The Portuguese part of the investment will be, for the most part, centred around the Douro, where Haciendas de Espaa already has a partnership with Quinta de So Cibro and significant interests in the Arribes del Duero VdlT, just the other side of the border with Spain. The southern Italian part of the project has not yet been finalised, although Redondo said Arco was looking at sites in Sicily and Campania. He also revealed Arco has completed the separation of Berberano (producers of Berberano and Lagunilla) and Haciendas de Espaa (which includes the Marqus de Concordia Rioja, Marqus de Grion Rioja, Marqus de Monistrol Cava and Durius brands). The two companies have different management teams, staff and minority shareholders. The only link is me as president and United Wineries as the distributor. Arco itself is not really a business now - it is a financial corporation, the majority shareholder,' said Redondo.