PARIS (Reuters) - U.S investment firm Starwood Capital has put French crystal maker Baccarat (>> Baccarat) up for sale and the best offer so far has come from a Chinese group, French daily L'Agefi said on Friday, citing several sources.
Starwood, which is eyeing a valuation for Baccarat of 200 million euros (£171.6 million), has commissioned Messier Maris & Associes bank to handle the sale, the paper reported.
"A Chinese group has come out on top, with an offer close to the valuation Starwood is hoping for," L'Agefi quoted a source as saying. It did not disclose the identity of the Chinese buyer.
Starwood has owned Baccarat, which is listed in Paris and has a market value of 181 million euros, since 2005 when it bought parent group Taittinger. Neither Starwood and Baccarat could immediately be reached for comment.
It achieved a 2016 Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of 12.9 million euros, up 25.2 percent on the previous year. Its sales, however, were down 0.9 percent to 148.3 million euros.
Starwood Capital sold Europe's No. 2 budget operator, Louvre Hotels Group, to Chinese partner Jin Jiang International Holdings Co. Ltd. in 2014.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Pascale Denis; Editing by Richard Balmforth)