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Fifth-biggest Port house created

Published:  23 July, 2008

Port shipper Barros Almeida and Kopke has been bought by Sogevinus - the drinks arm of Spanish bank Caixanova - in a deal that makes Sogevinus the fifth-biggest producer in the Douro Valley.

Already the owner of Port houses Clem, Burmester and Gilberts, Sogevinus has doubled its sales volumes with this latest deal, and now has an 11% market share - behind only Symington Family Port Companies, The Fladgate Partnership, Sogrape and Porto Cruz.

The acquisition gives Sogevinus a market-leading position in the Netherlands and Denmark, plus an enhanced presence in the Portuguese domestic market.

Sogevinus now has combined Port and Douro table wines stocks of an estimated 25 million, and 418 hectares (ha) of Douro land, of which 218ha are planted, all classified A-grade.

The Barros sale, which also includes Kopke, covers all of the company's stocks, brands, lodges and winemaking facilities, plus vineyards Quinta S. Luiz and Quinta D. Matilde. No acquisition price has been revealed, but it is rumoured to be about

50 million.

Barros was founded in 1913 and has remained family-owned ever since. However, the company has been looking for a buyer for some months.

Particularly renowned for its tawny Ports, Barros has recently embarked on an extensive replanting programme designed to boost its holdings of Touriga Nacional, but also including small plots of lesser-known varieties such as Souso, Rufete and Bastardo.

Sogevinus is yet to reveal its plans for the house, but it is thought that it will make a significant investment in refurbishments - as it did at Clem, where at least 6 million has been spent on new facilities over the past few years.