The French drinks and luxury goods group, LVMH, is poised to sell its Champagne brand, Pommery, according to reports in the French press. LVMH is looking for a price-tag of between EUR230 million and EUR300 million ($202 million to $263 million) for the brand, the chateau in Reims where the Champagne is produced and around 20 hectares of vineyards. However, LVMH will retain the majority of the vineyards currently owned by Pommery to supply its other Champagne brands.

Pommery has annual sales of around EUR100 million. LVMH acquired the company from BSN (now Danone) in 1990 but from a distribution point of view it has always been kept separate from the other LVMH-owned Champagne brands such as Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

In spite of attempts by LVMH to re-vamp Pommery, with initiatives such as its Pop brand aimed at nightclubs, Pommery has suffered over the past year or so. The brand suffered acutely from the post-Millennial Champagne slump, with sales declining by 50% to 4 million bottles last year.

While LVMH's intentions appear to be clear, it is less certain who might be interested in acquiring Pommery. According to reports, a couple of large Champagne co-operatives have taken a look at Pommery but decided against it. Vranken Monopole is another company tipped as a likely buyer but it too has said it is not interested in Pommery. Moet-Hennessy has declined to comment on the current speculation.