RealTime IT News

Europ@Web Invests in WineandCo

Europ@Web, the Internet investment company of the Bernard Arnault empire, has taken a stake in WineandCo in return for investing around 100 million French francs ($17 million) in the international wine distributor.

WineandCo has established Internet sites to serve France, Italy and England, and now plans to speed up its development in other countries. It offers a huge selection of wine from France and overseas.

WineandCo's founder Marc Perrin did not reveal the size of Europ@Web's stake but said he thought the investors understood the concept of WineandCo very well.

"The numerous operational synergies that can be quickly established will allow us to accelerate our global development as well as giving us access to numerous partnerships," said Perrin.

Chahram Becharat, managing director of Europ@Web, said WineandCo's strengths were a strong knowledge of the wine industry combined with more than five years experience of operating on the Internet.

WineandCo is an information-intensive site that helps users make up their minds when choosing wines by providing expert advice, opinions from other consumers, and other details.

Competition between Internet sites wooing the wine consumer is become intense in Europe, where both the home and export markets are vitally important.

This month also saw the launch of Madaboutwine, aimed at wine lovers in the U.K. (See our repo rt).

Vinternet, the company set up by WineandCo founders Marc Perrin and Rodolphe Boivin, has created more than 600 web sites for the wine industry and continues to work with WineandCo.

Europ@Web has investments in Leisureplanet, Sportal, imediation and Netvalue, as well as being instrumental in setting up free Internet access provider Liberty Surf which recently took a stake in X-Stream.