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HE Dallas investment company Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst specializes in buying up small struggling companies in an industry, repackaging them and then selling them on. It has just achieved a major success with Formula 1's official champagne G H Mumm & Cie.

Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst bought Mumm and its rival champagne house Perrier-Jouet in July 1999 for around $100m. It has just announced that the companies will now be sold to Allied Domecq for $500m in cash. Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst was planning to invest in the Minardi team through its South American TV company PSN but the deal fell through at the last minute.

Mumm is expected to remain the official supplier of champagne to the Grand Prix circus for several years to come.

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