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Starwood Capital corks €660m from Taittinger sale

US-based real estate fund manager Starwood Capital has sold the French champagne interests that it acquired in its €1.2bn purchase of Groupe Taittinger last July.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood Capital Group has agreed to sell French champagne maker Taittinger to Credit Agricole du Nord-Est for approximately €660 million ($840 million), including debt.
 
French bank Credit Agricole du Nord-Est has backed Taittinger’s current management, led by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, grandson of founder Pierre Taittinger.
 
According to various media reports, the bank beat off competition from a number of rival bids, including champagne house Thienot, India’s United Breweries Group and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
 
Starwood acquired Groupe Taittinger, owner of Taittinger CCVC, the world’s sixth largest champagne producer, last July in a €1.16 billon transaction.
 
Taittinger CCVC controls approximately 700 acres in France as well as two vineyards in California. In 2005, the company reported revenues of approximately €92 million.
 
Founded in 1991, Starwood Capital Group has closed and advised on over 380 transactions and holds equity interests in residential lots, multifamily and condominium units, hotels, offices, retail and industrial spaces and golf and leisure-related properties. The firm also has offices in Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington D.C., London, Luxembourg and Tokyo.