Hoping to capitalize on China’s booming luxury market, Fosun International, a Shanghai-based business group and one of the shareholders of Paris-based resorts operator Club Mediterranee SA, is seeking to invest and partner with European luxury brands and red wine companies.
Qian Jiannong, who is in charge of investments for Fosun’s parent, Fosun Group, said it prefers partners in countries like France, Italy and Spain that have “strong branding and influence” in clothing and wine. He said Fosun has been approached by many companies and “we are in talks.”
Chinese spent about 6.1 billion yuan (US$900.5 million) on wine in the first quarter of 2010, up 30% year-over-year, according to London-based research firm Euromonitor International. China imported 26.1 million-liters of wine from Europe, doubled from a year ago, according to China Custom. “Now red wine is becoming very trendy among Chinese,” Qian said.
In 2009, China overtook the U.S. not only as the world’s biggest market for automobiles, but also the second largest market for luxuries, as reported by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It predicts sales of luxury goods in China will reach $14.6 billion by 2015.
“We will help our partners expand stores in China, giving them advice on management and employee cultural issues, as well as the selection of property locations,” Qian said.
Fosun expects to raise its holding in Club Med from the 7 percent it purchased in June to 10 percent. According to Qian, they are looking at locations including Hainan Island in southern China, suburban Shanghai and other cities in eastern China for the resort/attraction.
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