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Published:  23 July, 2008

LVMH has agreed to sell its Pommery business to Champagne producer Vranken Monopole. The price (to be finalised by the end of May) has been given as e150-180 million, considerably lower than the estimate of e230-300 million made in late March, when rumours of the sale were reported in the French press (Harpers, 12 April). Vranken will acquire the Pommery brand, supply contracts, the cellars and stocks in Reims, the right to employ the 180 staff and to manage and use the vines. LVMH will retain ownership of the vineyards, regarding them as a strategic asset'. LVMH said the sale would allow it to concentrate on its bigger name Champagnes, such as Krug, Mot & Chandon, Dom Prignon and Veuve Clicquot. The deal is expected to make Vranken the second largest Champagne group in the world, with a 10% share of the world market.