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Not keeping Mumm

The UK’s 3i looks set to be the successful bidder for Germany’s leading sparkling wine producer, Mumm Sekt, which has been put up for sale by Seagram.

Reports suggest that the private equity firm has won the vital backing of the German unions in order to proceed with its £80m bid for the 160-year-old company. 3i is backing the company’s management who are eager to buy the operation from Seagram.

Since its acquisition by Diageo and Pernod Ricard, Seagram has been looking to divest a number of non-core brands whilst bolstering its balance sheet.

Mumm Sekt was regarded as one such business, being the remainder of Mumm & Co which the Canadian company bought in 1970. Seagram sold the more widely known Mumm champagne house in June 1999 to US private equity firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst who then sold the business on last December to Allied Domecq [see PEO story 13/12/00 – Allied Domecq buys champagne businesses from Hicks Muse for E575m].

Seagram initially seemed keen to grow the German operation. These plans changed though after it was acquired and the opportunity for an MBO then became apparent to Mumm Sekt’s management.