Local press reports from Reims claim that Remy Cointreau could make a decision on the future of its Champagne division later this week when its Champagne Piper-Heidsieck subsidiary holds an extraordinary meeting of its work committee.

However, the group said no decision had been taken on the future of the division, which has been the focus of a strategic review over the past year.

Neither the sale or the development of the division, via an industrial or strategic partnership, has been excluded.

The division generated around 11% of Remy Cointreau's turnover for the 2001/2002 financial year.

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck is ranked seventh on the French domestic market and fifth on the international market.

According to analysts the possible sale of the division could yield between 200 and 250 million euros, a sum which does not take into account vineyards covering 50 to 60 hectares.