Marne et Champagne is set to sell a stake in itself to French national savings bank Caisse d'Epargne, according to press reports. Le Figaro said yesterday that France's second largest Champagne producer is poised to sell a 44% stake to the bank for €450m.

The bank will become the group's second largest shareholder after the Mora family, the paper said.

The agreement will help Marne et Champagne to recover from its current cash problems, Le Figaro noted, after it failed to pay an instalment to its 3,000 grape suppliers on 5 June.