Another bidder for Lanson International has arrived, according to local reports. French regional newspaper L'Union de Reims claimed today (27 October) that French businessman Jean-Claude Darmon has entered the race for the Champagne house.

Darmon, who is a friend of Lanson's majority stakeholder the Mora family, would look to buy Lanson through an investment fund, the paper suggested. He would re-sell the group in two to three years' time to make a solid capital gain, the paper added.

Sources close to the situation have played down growing speculation regarding who is in the race for Lanson. "When a sale such as this comes up," the source told just-drinks, "everyone immediately throws their hats into the ring to register interest, if only to see how their competitors are doing. It doesn't necessarily mean they're going to start a bidding war."

Media reports throughout this month have linked, among others, LVMH, Thienot, Boizel Chanoine and two investment funds with the sale of Lanson International, which was announced in July.