Boizel Chanoine Champagne has stayed silent on reports that it has entered into exclusive talks to buy Lanson International and hopes to complete a deal by February.

When contacted by just-drinks today (16 December), Boizel Chanoine chief executive Bruno Paillard refused to comment on claims that the company was likely to spend around EUR120m (US$143.8m) to buy Lanson. Boizel Chanoine was also reported to be ready to take on EUR410m in debt.

Reuters said on Thursday that Paillard was set to put his plans before Lanson employees today before setting out the proposals in front of French bank Caisse d'Epargne, which owns 44% in Lanson. The other 56% of Lanson's capital is held by the Mora family.

Only last week, Lanson's shareholders were understood to have rejected an offer from Boizel Chanoine, leaving private equity group Butler Capital the favourite to buy Lanson.

However, Butler Capital and a third bidder - French entrepreneur Jean-Claude Darmon - this week pulled out of the bidding.

Lanson officials were unavailable for comment as just-drinks went to press.