Taittinger acquired but back on the market shortly

Taittinger champagne News Wine News
  • Friday 22 July 2005

Champagne Taittinger will be back on the market imminently following its acquisition by an American investment group.

Taittinger has just been bought by Connecticut-based Starwood Capital for €2.8bn. The group has a significant property portfolio including the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains.

It is likely it was attracted by Taittinger’s hotel interests, run by the group’s Societe du Louvre subsidiary, 44%-owned by Taittinger. Its holdings include the luxury Crillon hotel on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.

Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht said in a statement the main focus was to expand the hotels business into areas such as eastern Europe, and to renovate some of the portfolio's luxury hotels.

The company intends to sell Champagne Taittinger, a spokesman said, and is seeking advice from the Taittinger family on how best to achieve that aim.

‘Starwood has the intention of selling [Champagne] Taittinger. It's likely there will be many potential acquirers.’

Analysts are speculating that Pernod Ricard, Fortune Brands or Constellation could make a bid.

‘Even though Pernod is financially a bit constrained with its takeover of Allied, this acquisition would be a unique opportunity for it to make a big entry into the champagne sector,’ one broker told Reuters.

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