Following 48 hours of frantic activity, the French Champagne and luxury goods house, Taittinger, has been sold to the American investment group Starwood Capital for E2.8bn, fending off a last-minute joint bid from rivals Carlyle and Wendell Investissement and long-term favourites Eurazeo.

The group, based in Connecticut, has a significant property portfolio including golf clubs, health clubs and the Sheraton and Westin hotel chains, and was doubtless attracted by the Taittinger group's hotel interests, particularly the flagship Crillon hotel on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It is the group's experience with quality hotels that is thought to have clinched the deal.

Sources told just-drinks that the group is unlikely to be interested in either the other elements of Taittinger's Société du Louvre arm, such as Baccarat Crystal and Annick Goutal perfume.

Nor is it likely to want to keep the Champagne house, whose worth analysts estimate at E500m, and which is almost certain to be back on the market later this year.