Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (EPA:MC) (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) is to buy high-end hotel and travel company Belmond Ltd (NYSE:BEL) for $3.2 billion, concluding a sales process that attracted interest from a range of high-profile bidders.
Belmond said it had received "broad and deep interest" from several potential buyers after it announced a strategic review in August.
Belmond has a global portfolio of around 46 luxury hotels, cruises, safaris and trains. In the UK, this includes Raymond Blanc's Oxfordshire hotel and restaurant Le Manoir and luxury train services British Pullman and Royal Scotsman that allow you to crisscross the British Isles aboard glamorous vintage trains.
It is a strategic coup for LVMH, the firm behind fashion labels Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, which already has hotels including the Cheval Blanc in the prestigious Courchevel ski resort in the French Alps, as well as Bvlgari hotels.
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LVMH said it would pay $25 per Belmond share, a 40% premium to Thursday's closing price. The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2019, values Belmond's equity at $2.6 billion, and the group, including debt, at $3.2 billion.
Investors sent Belmond stock up 39.8% to $24.67 in pre-market trade Friday on the back of the deal.
"Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travellers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations," Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy 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," he added.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]