Castel fined €4m over non-disclosure of acquisition

The French wine company that once owned Oddbins has been fined €4 million (£3.3 million) for failing to disclose the 2011 acquisition of six compaines from the Burgundy wine producer Patriarche to competition authorities.

The fine – issued against Castel’s parent company Copagef – was imposed by L’Autorité de la Concurrence and is only the third time that such a fine has been levied in French competition law history.

The competition regulator said it had been notified of the Patriarche acquisition by a third party in September 2011, four months after it happened.

The body said Castel had committed a “serious violation” which had obstructed its ability to control takeovers and mergers.

Castel owned Oddbins from 2002 to 2008 and had the Nicolas chain in the UK until 2011.