Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie face each other in court in Luxembourg

The commercial dispute over the wine company Château Miraval, which has been going on for decades, is taking place this autumn in Portugal.




The commercial dispute over the wine company Château Miraval, which has been going on for decades, is taking place this autumn in Portugal.

Nouvel, a company holding formerly owned by Angelina Jolie, is currently facing legal proceedings in Luxembourg against Mondo Bongo, another holding also actor and ex-husband Brad Pitt.

Nouvel’s legal team will defend this autumn, in a Luxembourg court, the appointment of a representative of the limited liability company, Quimicum, co-owned by Mondo Bongo and Nouvel, the team confirmed to the Luxembourg Times.

In this type of company, the partners cannot be held responsible for damages arising from their activity beyond their shareholdings.

Quimicum, headquartered in the Cloche d’Or district of the capital, owns the famous Château Miraval winery, owned by the couple. Brad Pitt’s Mondo Bongo owns a 50% stake in Quimicum, the same percentage held by Angelina Jolie’s Nouvel.

The wine estate in southern France, Château Miraval, owned by the companies of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The wine estate in southern France, Château Miraval, owned by the companies of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Photo: AFP

After a bitter and highly publicized divorce since 2016, Pitt and Jolie have also been questioning the future of their wine estate in the south of France, Château Miraval, which is particularly famous for its rosé wine.

Pitt reportedly tried to sell part of Jolie to friends

Brad Pitt’s lawyers have made multiple allegations against Jolie, such as the actress’s lack of contribution to the luxury winery property since 2013, “at a time of preliminary renovations”, citing a case filed by Mondo Bongo in February 2022 in the United States.

But, according to a defense filed in early September by Jolie’s legal team, Pitt named himself the rightful owner of Château Miraval, “wasting millions on assets” and attempting to give Jolie’s 50% stake in Chemicum to your friends.

At stake is a property in France where the couple got married in 2014.

In fact, Nouvel proposed a management composed of two of its directors, two directors of Mondo Bongo, and a director chosen “among reputed independent directors from Luxembourg”, the document reads. These proposals were rejected by Pitt and his team at Mondo Bongo.

As a result of multiple unresolved business disputes, including a rejected attempt to share equal representation on Quimicum’s board of directors, Jolie sold Nouvel in October last year to Tenute Del Mondo, a subsidiary of Stoli’s alcohol company, with headquarters in Luxembourg. The company is owned by Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler.

In 2020, Quimicum’s board consisted of a single director who had been provided by a management company, stated the defense filed by lawyers for Jolie and Nouvel.

Company shut down with director resignation

“Concerned about Pitt’s behavior in relation to Château Miraval, Nouvel representatives spoke to the director of Quimicum on September 2, 2020. They found that, for years, the director of Quimicum had not taken any steps towards exercising a corporate control over Château Miraval.”

In June last year, the director of the company resigned and, as a result, it remained a company without decision-making powers, where Nouvel and its new owners could not execute any decisions. Under Luxembourg law, Quimicum cannot act without any directors.

“This left Pitt and Château Miraval without any effective oversight because a Quimicum without a director could not take any steps to oversee Château Miraval,” the challenge stated.

Thus, Nouvel’s legal team will try to make the current two shareholders, Nouvel and Mondo Bongo, manage the company in a way that both their rights are equally protected, revealed Anne Sophie Boul, one of Nouvel’s lawyers, in an email sent to Luxembourg Times.

According to Boul, Nouvel will seek to put an end to the “artificial block built from scratch by Mondo Bongo and Brad Pitt”.

“In no case is it a question of having the advantage over the other shareholder, but on the contrary, Nouvel only asks to be treated fairly.”

Previous lawsuit filed in Luxembourg

The former couple, nicknamed “Brangelina” by millions of fans around the world, bought Château Miraval through Quimicum, acquiring all shares for 25 million euros, with Mondo Bongo buying 60% of the stake and Nouvel 40 %.

Actors always intended to become equal owners, explained the challenge. In order to honor the deal, Pitt transferred 10% of the outstanding shares that were owned by Mondo Bongo to Nouvel in 2013, which at the time was wholly owned by Jolie. Consequently, Nouvel and Mondo Bongo became equal owners of Quimicum and therefore indirect co-owners of Château Miraval.

But a year ago, Mondo Bongo sued Nouvel in Luxembourg to annul the 2013 transaction in which it had transferred 10% of Quimicum shares to Nouvel.

Pitt’s defense claimed the couple’s agreement was invalid because it allegedly lacked “cause,” which under Luxembourg law means a benefit or purpose, the filing said.

Mondo Bongo sued Nouvel twice, with the second lawsuit taking place in Luxembourg, and sought to deposit the contested 10% of Quimicum’s shares pending the resolution of the dispute between the parties.

The official dismissal of Pitt’s lawsuit by the Luxembourg court took place in February 2022 and was ratified in June by the Luxembourg court of appeal, as it “lacks merit in its position”.

Sale of company to Russian oligarch made headlines

In response to Jolie’s sale of Nouvel to Tenute del Mondo in October 2021, Pitt’s legal team found in February that the actress had “alleged to sell her stake to a Luxembourg-based spirits manufacturer controlled by the Russian oligarch Yuri Shefler” without Pitt’s knowledge.

Pitt’s team also accused Shefler of having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, causing an avalanche of headlines linking Jolie to Putin.

“Pitt’s suggestion that the Stoli Group and its founder and owner, Yuri Shefler, are in any way linked to Vladimir Putin is categorically false,” he wrote to Nouvel.

“In reality, Stoli and Shefler have been fighting a well-known battle against Putin for decades,” Jolie’s defense explained.

(This article was originally published in the English edition of the Luxemburger Wort.)

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At stake is a property in France where the couple got married in 2014.

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