TAITTINGER

The house of Taittinger did not exist until 1932. For nearly two centuries, it was known as Forest-Fourneaux. 

In the 1990s, the Taittinger family vastly expanded their business and eventually ran into cash-flow and other financial problems, resulting in the sale of the Taittinger brands in July 2005 to the American-owned Starwood Hotel Group. 

The sale was badly received by the Champagne-producing community. They feared the new owners would pursue short-term profitability over quality, upsetting the equilibrium of the Champagne industry. 

But salvation came in the form of Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger. Claude’s nephew had always been opposed to the 2005 sale of the family company to Starwood, says his daughter Vitalie. He is a third-generation member of the Champagne family and started work in 1976 as a sales rep before slowly climbing up the ladder. When he showed interest in repurchasing the business the industry united to negotiate a deal with the Starwood group and Crédit Agricole. On May 31, 2006, the Taittinger family resumed ownership of the company.

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