Rum giant Bacardi is one of about 12 companies to show interest in buying the Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck Champagne brands, sources in the region have told Decanter.com.
Other potential bidders are believed to include Champagne’s leading player, LVMH, plus Vranken-Pommery Monopole and BCC-Lanson, as well as the region’s largest co-operatives, Alliance Champagne and Nicolas Feuillatte.
Remy Cointreau, which currently owns the brands, put them up for sale late last year, with an asking price believed to be as high as €400m.
Despite the interest from Bacardi, one source in Champagne suggested that the winning bidder was likely to be an established Champagne business, with some reports placing Vranken-Pommery Monopole at the front of the queue.
But another source in the region said LVMH and BCC-Lanson might table a joint bid, in which BCC-Lanson would take control of the brands, and LVMH would buy the vineyards and grape contracts.
No timescale has been set for the sale of Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck, but it is believed that the number of bidders will be whittled down to a shortlist imminently.
A spokesperson for Bacardi said it was company policy not to comment on speculation.
Written by Richard Woodard