Bordeaux wine merchant GRM sold to Qeelin Jewellery co-founder

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Bordeaux negociant GRM was sold to co-founder of Qeelin Jewellery and two Chinese investors, the company announced today.

Image: Guillaume Brochard, founder of Qeelin Jewellery
Image: Guillaume Brochard, founder of Qeelin Jewellery

Guillaume Brochard, co-founder of the Hong Kong-based Qeelin Jewellery, together with ‘two Chinese entrepreneurs’ purchased Pineuilh-based negociant GRM for an undisclosed amount.

Guillaume Brochard is now the majority holder of GRM, the company told DecanterChina.com.

The backgrounds of the two mainland Chinese investors have not yet been disclosed. An unnamed trade source told DecanterChina.com that one of the two investors is 'one of the founding fathers of the hospitality industry' in China.

The move came two weeks after Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s purchase of Château de Sours, and is the third Bordeaux estate purchase by Chinese investors announced this week.

‘In China, enjoying wines has now become a symbol of quality and high-end life,’ said Guillaume Brochard, when talking about the purchase.

The French entrepreneur founded the luxury jewellery brand Qeelin with Chinese designer Dennis Chan in 2004. The jewellery brand was known for its association with Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung.

Image: Qeelin Boutique in Palaris Royal (left) and GRM (right), credit Qeelin Jewellery and GRM
Image: Qeelin Boutique in Palaris Royal (left) and GRM (right), credit Qeelin Jewellery and GRM

In early 2013, Qeelin Jewllery was bought by the French luxury goods holding company Kering, which is owned by François Pinault, owner of Chateau Latour.

Founded in 1972, the producer and merchant GRM owns 200 hectares of vineyards in Bordeaux and Southwest France, currently operating four wineries including AOC Bordeaux Supérieur Château Picon and Château Guillaume Blanc.

At the moment the negociant sells 15m bottles of Bordeaux wines to 25 countries every year, according to the company.

Under the new leadership, the company intends to keep its worldwide distribution but would be looking to develop within the Chinese market, Emmanuel Castagneau, marketing director of GRM, told DecanterChina.com.

(Additional report by Jane Anson)

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