Culture / Newsy

World’s Leading Luxury Giant Buys Five-Star Hotel Group for $3.2 Billion

Mega Deal Signals a New Era in Posh Luxury

BY // 12.14.18

The world of high fashion, luxe travel and all things fabulous is buzzing with announcement today that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is purchasing luxury travel firm Belmond.

While everyone worth his Loro Piana cashmeres and Louis Vuitton champagnes is familiar with the French luxury powerhouse, perhaps not all world travelers are aware of the breadth of Belmond Ltd., which launched as a luxury travel firm 40 years ago with purchase of the famed Hotel Cipriani in Venice.

Belmond’s portfolio not only includes such five star hotels as the Belmond Villa San Michelle in Florence and the Belmond La Samana in St. Martin, but a total of 46 hotels, rail (Venice Simplon-Orient Express) and river cruises (Belmond Afloat in France).

LVMH is not new to the luxury hotel business with the Cheval Blanc collection which boasts five-star hotels under that label in St. Barth’s, Saint Tropez, Courchevel and the Maldives.

In a statement, Belmond president and CEO Roeland Vos noted, “We are confident that, as part of LVMH’s world-class family of brands, Belmond’s ability to deliver timeless, one-of-a-kind luxury experiences will reach new levels.”

At $3.2 billion, this is LVMH’s largest purchase since it spent $4.8 billion to buy Bvlgari in 2011 and $7.3 billion last year to gain full control of Christian Dior.

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“Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travelers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations,” LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said in a statement. “Its heritage, its innovative services, its excellence in execution and its entrepreneurship resonates well with the values of the group and is complementary to our own Cheval Blanc maisons and the Bvlgari hotels activities. This acquisition will significantly increase LVMH’s presence in the ultimate hospitality world.”

Subject to Belmond shareholder approval and clearance by competition authorities, the acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

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