The name of Paul-François Vranken resounds throughout Champagne. He has become a giant in the sector thanks to numerous acquisitions, notably the purchase of the famous Pommery house in 2002. This Walloon native, who was never predestined for such a career, has succeeded in imposing his success and his style. Champagne!
Paul-François Vranken began studying law at the University of Liège to become a notary. However, the events of May 1968 prompted him to become a Doctor of Law at the University of Liège in 1970.
He was subsequently hired by “Bass and Charrington” to manage whisky distribution in France from Paris. His sector evolved towards the sale of De Castellane champagne in Belgium where he became the second largest distributor of champagne. This experience revealed his commercial talent and enabled him to learn the customs and habits of the Champagne world.
After an in-depth study of the champagne market, Paul-François Vranken decided to launch the eponymous Champagne Vranken brand in 1976, which he created with his wife Nathalie. At that time, the crisis of overproduction, leading to a fall in stock market prices, considerably affected the Champagne hillsides, which allowed the visionary Paul-François Vranken to seize opportunities and build his brand. He was inspired in particular by his uncle, the importer of the Porsche brand in Belgium.
Two years later, he continued his momentum and acquired the Champagne house Veuve Monnier. In 1983, Paul-François did not close himself off to any sector and acquired the Charles Lafitte cognac brand. The same year, he created the Charles Lafitte Champagne brand.
“The Champagne world has a reputation for being rather hermetic, but, there as elsewhere, recognition is gained through hard work”
The special cuvée Demoiselle was created in 1985. In addition, he extended his properties with the acquisition of Maison Collin (1985), Maison Sacotte (1987), Champagne Lallement (1992), and Barancourt (1994), before becoming the proud owner of the famous Maison Heidsieck & Cie Monopole in 1996.
For twenty years, in addition to its acquisition policy, the particularity of the Vranken company has consisted in consolidating the brand image of champagne as a typically French luxury product. The great variety of its brands has enabled the company to go up against the large distribution groups to establish itself.
Listed on the Paris stock exchange since 1998 and on the Brussels stock exchange since 1999, Vranken took a further step forward with the purchase of the illustrious Pommery Champagne House in 2002. It then created the Vranken-Pommery Monopole group and became the 2nd largest Champagne producer, with a turnover of €243.8 million in 2016, 1.2% more than in 2015. This success was recognized by the title of Manager of the Year awarded by the Belgian magazine “Trends Tendances”.
At the age of 65, Paul-François Vranken still has many challenges to face. Very present in Europe, he now wishes to strengthen his position on other continents such as the United States, Australia, China and Japan with a method that remains the same and that has made him successful: to honor champagne and the French art of living!
“Be served at the most beautiful tables in the world and promoting the culinary knowledge of our great chefs is an essential element of differentiation on the wine sector.“