Partnership Guliyev Wines-ZARS Holding to buy out the champagne factory in Odessa

Guliyev Wines and ZARS Holding agreed to buy out the historical winery of Odessa, located at French Boulevard 10, founded in 1857.

On September 14, the State Property Fund of Ukraine will hold an auction for the sale of the complex. The starting price is UAH 75.6 million including VAT. So far, the only entity who openly declared their interest in acquiring the complex is Odessavinprom PJSC (Guliyev Wines Group), which has been renting the plant’s facilities since the 1990s and producing sparkly wine. The winemaker Robert Guliyev confirmed his desire to preserve production by agreeing to pay the rental price that doubled after the April auction.

On the eve of the final transfer of the enterprise into private hands, some sources reported that the investor behind Odessavinprom PrJSC is the construction holding ZARS. Giorgi Bochorishvili, chairman of the board of directors of the ZARS holding, confirmed the agreement.

For a long time there was an agreement between us: when privatisation becomes possible, we will buy the complex. In April, we supported Odessavinprom and the Guliyevs at a rental auction, paying the maximum price, paying rent all this time and going together to the auction on September 14 to preserve and develop this unique object.

We do not look at this object as a piece of land for construction. The location will become unique. The goal is to preserve its energy, not destroy it. This also applies to architectural monuments that are located here and throughout the territory as a whole. We will tell you more about our plans after the victory.

Giorgi Bochorishvili, chairman of the board of directors of the ZARS holding
Robert Guliyev and Giorgi Bochorishvili

In turn, winemaker Robert Guliyev declared that there was no alternative to partnership with ZARS.

Many investors came to us, but all their proposals sounded ultimatum: winemaking had to leave French Boulevard, and the historical territory was going to be built up completely. Developers not from our city, not understanding the specifics of the location, talked about construction projects of more than 18 floors.

Partnership with Giorgi Bochorishvili and ZARS is the only possible option to preserve winemaking and not lose this place in every sense. I am glad that the plant remains with us. We will keep both production and staff.

Robert Guliyev, owner of Guliyev Wines Group

On August 18, the State Property Fund announced privatisation requirements, which limit the possibility for the buyer to change the scope of the enterprise or build up the territory on French Boulevard.

An important condition for the purchase of the complex is the preservation of the wine-making profile of the plant’s operation for three years. For the same period, it is forbidden to dismiss employees of the enterprise.

Part of the territory of the complex includes 3.5 hectares located in the industrial zone on Peresyp, whilst only a plot of slightly more than a hectare is located on French Boulevard, where several objects on the territory of the plant that are not subject to privatisation.

The state property will retain an anti-radiation shelter located in one of the buildings. In addition, inside the territory there is a premise that is privately owned. And also the brand store of the winery, facing the French Boulevard, is a private ownership. The new owner will have to ensure unhindered access to the shelter and private premises.

The territory of the winery, is located within the boundaries of an historical area, which means that buildings above five floors cannot be built there.

About the winery

Odessavinprom is the oldest wine-making enterprise in Ukraine. It began its work in 1857, when the French winemaker François Nouveau created the first wine cellars in Odessa, which have survived to this day. The factory was built by the architect Lev Vlodek (the same of the “Passage”, Odessa’s arcade). Later the company belonged to the ministry of the royal court, and received the name “Warehouses of specific winemaking”.

In Soviet times, the First Experimental Winery, the flagship of the Ukrainian wine industry, was founded here. Since 1991, on the basis of the head plant of the Odessvinprom trust, a closed joint-stock company was founded, then a private enterprise with the same name.

The company annually replenishes the budget in the amount of up to UAH 120 million, bottling about 10 million bottles a year. 1-1.5 million are still wines and 8-9 million for sparkling wines. The company’s annual turnover exceeds costs half a billion UAH. It is included in the register of the largest taxpayers in Ukraine. It produces still and sparkling wines, as well as brandy, under the trademarks “French Boulevard”, “Guliev Wines”, “Kiev Premium”, “Frenchman” and others.