Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Race on for Taittinger Champagne following sale of parent group

Published:  23 July, 2008

Another bidding war among drinks industry giants is on the cards after the successful bidder for the Taittinger group signalled it was willing to put the Champagne house straight on the market.

The Taittinger family sold its stake in the eponymous Champagne and hotels group last week to a US property investment group in a deal worth €2.8 billion. The group, Starwood Capital, immediately signalled its wish to expand the hotel part of the business and sell the Champagne house, and said in a statement that it was seeking advice from the Taittinger family on how to best proceed with the sale. It is likely there will be many potential acquirers,' said a spokesperson.

Analysts immediately tipped a trio of suitors for Allied Domecq as potential bidders: the successful duo Pernod Ricard and Fortune Brands, along with the unsuccessful bidder Constellation Brands.

Champagne Taittinger makes an attractive purchase due to its extensive vineyard holdings of 280 hectares. With grape prices having risen substantially in the past decade (reaching up to €6 a kilo in recent years) and a possible expansion of the AOC still some way off, vineyard land is becoming increasingly expensive (if you can find anyone willing to sell).

Based in Reims, Champagne Taittinger produces around

4.5 million bottles a year and has 21 million bottles of stock in its cellar.

Taittinger's UK agent,

Hatch Mansfield, had nothing to say about the sale of the company, except that it is business as usual'.