The purchase of Chateau Quercy in Saint-Emilion by an unnamed Chinese industrialist came close to not happening, DecanterChina.com has been told.
The industrialist, who wished to remain anonymous, originally agreed to buy Chateau Quercy around 18 months ago, but completion of the deal was only announced earlier this month.
Estate agents involved in the sale said the client was unable to complete the necessary paperwork quickly enough and the chateau's owner since 1988, the Apelbaum family, subsequently signed an agreement to sell the Grand Cru Saint-Emilion estate to another buyer.
Fortunately for the investor who had been usurped, the second agreement also broke down.
'When it didn’t work out with the other party, we went back to our clients who were still interested. This is the reason the deal took longer than normal to complete,' said Karin Maxwell, executive partner at Maxwell-Storrie-Baynes (MSB), affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.
Chateau Quercy was on the market for around €5m and the sale price is understood to be close to that amount, not including stock.
The story of Quercy’s eventual purchase highlights the lengthy bureaucratic process that foreign buyers face when targeting French wine estates.
MSB joined with French agricultural land agency 'SAFER' during the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific trade fair in Hong Kong to hold seminars on teach prospective chateau buyers about the process.
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