Taittinger heirs to sell champagne company

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The Independent Online

The Taittinger family has decided to sell its two blue-riband assets - the family champagne company and the renowned Hotel du Crillon in Paris.

The Taittinger family has decided to sell its two blue-riband assets - the family champagne company and the renowned Hotel du Crillon in Paris.

Both properties belong to the 38 Taittinger heirs who have decided, by majority vote, to cash in on the estimated €2bn (£1.33bn) value of their luxury goods and hotel empire.

Although officially the family is only "exploring" the market, there is expected to be a crowd of bidders for both parts of a business which has been privately controlled for three generations.

The champagne house, one of the world's best-known labels despite representing only 1 per cent of all champagne sold, is expected to attract bids of around €500m. Some French business analysts believe that part of the Taittinger clan may have decided to cling to this part of the empire themselves.

The real jewel in the crown of the Taittinger holding company is Société du Louvre, which owns the four-star Crillon and three chains of budget hotels. The Crillon, which sits on the Place de la Concorde, facing the river Seine, is one of the top half-dozen hotels in Paris - and among the most celebrated in the world.

The Taittinger family, mostly in their 50s and 60s, have reportedly decided to sell for tax reasons. This is said to follow a long battle within the clan between those directly involved in running the businesses and those less involved, who wanted to cash in on the booming value of the holding company.

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