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'UB group bids for Taittinger'

UB group has offered nearly 400 million pounds for French champagne brand.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 12:12 IST

UB group has offered nearly 400 million pounds for French champagne brand Taittinger, a source close to the company said on Monday.

Britain's Sunday Telegraph, which reported UB group Chairman Vijay Mallya was one of the bidders who submitted final offers late last week, quoted sources close to the auction as saying his offer was "among the highest".

A company spokeswoman declined comment.

In April, a source close to Starwood Capital, which is selling the Taittinger champagne house and associated vineyards, said about six bidders had been shortlisted from 40.

French media had speculated that bidders could include firms such as Fortune Brands Inc and E&J Gallo Winery, as well as funds such as Butler Capital Partners and Bain Capital.

French bank Credit Agricole was also reported to be considering a bid along with members of the Taittinger family.

Starwood acquired Taittinger last year and hoped to get at least 500 million euros for the Taittinger brand alone.

The deals would catapult UB group to the number two spot in the world. It became the world's third-biggest liquor producer after its spirits company, McDowell & Co, took over Shaw Wallace & Co for $354 million last year.

Bangalore-based UB now ranks behind Britain's Diageo Plc and France's Pernod Ricard.

First Published: May 22, 2006 10:56 IST