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LVMH Buys Luxury Travel Operator Behind Hotel Cipriani for $2.6 Billion

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Friday it had agreed to buy luxury travel operator Belmond Ltd., owner of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train and hotels including the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, for $2.6 billion, significantly widening its footprint in the hospitality sector.

The French luxury group is to acquire Belmond for $25 per Class A share in cash, representing an enterprise value of $3.2 billion.

Established over 40 years ago with the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Belmond operates in 24 countries with a portfolio of 46 luxury hotel, restaurant, train and river cruise properties. It posted revenues of $572 million and adjusted Ebitda of $140 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

“Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travelers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations,” said Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH.

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“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 Bulgari hotels activities. This acquisition will significantly increase LVMH’s presence in the ultimate hospitality world,” he added.

Roland Hernandez, chairman of the board of directors of Belmond, said the company had received offers from “a wide range of real estate and lodging companies, sovereign wealth institutions and other financial buyers around the world.”

“The board has concluded that this transaction with LVMH provides compelling and certain value for our shareholders as well as an exciting path forward with a group that appreciates Belmond’s irreplaceable assets and strong management team,” he added.

The transaction is expected to go through in the first half of 2019, subject to approval by Belmond’s shareholders and clearance by the relevant competition authorities.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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