UK drinks giant Diageo may buy Moët Hennessy, which owns prestige Champagne brands Krug, Moët, Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon.
According to press reports, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) approached Diageo to propose a sale which would bring the world’s oldest Champagne houses under British control, alongside brands such as Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff.
Diageo is considering making a cash offer of €12bn (£10.6bn) to the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate chaired by Bernard Arnault, who is in turn its largest shareholder.
Neither LVMH and Diageo, nor their respective advisors – said to be Goldman Sachs and Lazard – are talking publicly.
London-based Diageo already has a 34% share in Moët Hennessy.
In addition to his stake via shareholding of LVMH wine brands including Chateau d’Yquem, Arnault is himself co-owner of Bordeaux Chateaux Cheval Blanc, La Tour du Pin and Quinault.
The closing share prices for both LVMH (€53/£48) and Diageo (£7.90) were both down slightly on 22 April.
Written by Maggie Rosen and agencies