Freixenet, one of the world leaders in cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, is facing a €500 million takeover bid from its German rivals Henkell & Co.
Reports in Spain claimed that the company was poised to buy 29 per cent of the shares from the Hevia Ferrer family, one of three branches of the extended family which owns Freixenet.
Henkell would also try to buy 14.5 per cent from Eudald and Pere Bonet, another branch of the family which owns one of the most popular brands of cava in the UK market.
José Louis Bonet and his sister Pilar, siblings of the Bonet brothers are thought to be considering supporting the German bid, giving Henkell & Co a controlling stake of more than 50 per cent in the company.
It is understood that the offer may be made this week, according to a reort in LA VANGUARDIA, a Spanish newspaper.
The company is owned by the Ferrer, Bonet and Hevia Ferrer families.
Freixenet has been hit by 5.6 per cent fall in sales to €501 million last year. Profits also dropped to €2.2 million in 2015, a 71 per cent decrease compared with the previous year.
Henkell, a market leaser in the production of Sekt, a Germen sparkling wine, declined to comment.
The company bought Cavas Hill in 2012 and has been searching for ways to expand into the cava market for years.
Sorces close to the deal said Henkell and Freixenet were similar in that both had a long history and a similar style of management.
This could guarantee stability if the takeover bid is successful and prevent a large loss of jobs.
The Ferrer family, the original founfers of Freixenet in the 19th century, may tey to resist any takeover by the Henkell group.
Pedro and José Maria Ferrer, who are both board members and whose family own a 42 per cent stake in the company, have been in talks with Banco Santander to raise €120 million in credit to head off any takeover.
Freixenet, winemakers since 1830, survived Spain's economic crisis by moving into the export market in Europe, the US and the Far East.
Henkell & Co was founded in 1832 and is present in 20 countries, with a turnover of €700 million.
Fazit: Wird Henkell Freixenet schlucken?