The Champagne houses Laurent-Perrier and Chateau Malakoff are in talks over the possible merger of the two company's. A deal could be concluded within the second half of this year, the two said today.

In a joint statement Laurent-Perrier said the deal to intergate Chateau Malakoff into its portfolio would boost its position at home and on the export market which is responsible for half of its sales, while strengthening its roots in the Champagne region, Laurent-Perrier said in a joint statement.

Laurent-Perrier has an annual turnover of €160m and owns brands such as Laurent-Perrier, Salon, Delamotte and Vicomte de Castellane labels.

Chateau Malakoff, which owns the Jeanmaire, Beaumet and Oudinot brands, has sales of €45m.