Oeneo gets cash for its corks

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Natural cork, Wine

The wine industry's principle barrel and closure manufacturer has
sold its natural cork activities, but signed a contract to
outsource them as it needs. Kim Hunter Gordon reports.

Oeneo today announced that its current stocks of natural cork have been sold for €8.8 million, along with its natural cork making subsidiary Sabate Maroc for €2 million and its Spanish factory Corchos de Merida for €0.4 million.

The buyer is an undisclosed "industrial partner" who has also signed an outsourcing agreement. Oeneo continues to need natural cork as raw material for its technical corks and to be able to offer a complete range of closure options.

The move follows the sale​ earlier this month of the company's oak stave mill in Bloomfield, Iowa for €0.9million.

These sales are in line with the board of directors strategic plan announced in December. The company will sell off unprofitable units in order to concentrate on elements of its business that it sees as more lucrative.

Clearing loss-making units from its balance sheet will help curb an operating loss of nearly €3 million a year and the liquidation of assets will help with paying back debts of around €138 million.

Sales figures​ released last week showed that business had picked up in Oeneo's closures division following the unveiling of its new technical cork, Diamont​. This is based on new technology, developed with the French Atomic Energy Commission, to chemically alter natural cork - removing any chance of a cork taint that spoils wine.

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