Taittinger Group to look at offers for businesses

The family behind Taittinger champagne and Baccarat crystal has instructed bankers to examine offers for its assets worth EUR 2 billion (GBP 1.3 billion).
The Taittinger Group, controlled by nearly 4…

The family behind Taittinger champagne and Baccarat crystal has instructed bankers to examine offers for its assets worth EUR 2 billion (GBP 1.3 billion). The Taittinger Group, controlled by nearly 40 members of the Taittinger family, has appointed investment banks BNP Paribas and NM Rothschild to make preparations for the potential sale of its holdings. These holdings, which are thought to have attracted interest from investment firms such as the Carlyle Group, PAI Partners and Eurazeo, are expected to generate significant additional interest now that a formal review is under way. Private equity firms Texas Pacific Group, Blackstone and CVC Capital may also be interested in acquiring parts of the luxury goods group. Most of the Taittinger family“s 290 businesses are controlled through Societe du Louvre, the listed holding company, in which it owns 44.1% of the shares and holds 53% of the voting rights. The family was prompted to consider the sale of its holdings after Albert Frere, the Belgian financier, who owns 15.3% of Societe du Louvre and 25% of Taittinger, said that he wanted to sell his stakes. The sale of his holdings cannot take place before June 2006 because of an agreement with the Taittinger family. A spokesman for the group said: “The Taittinger Group, in agreement with its main shareholders, had taken note of many offers it has received. It has instructed BNP Paribas and Rothschild banks to study them.”