Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 June 2019

Luxury giant LVMH moves into high-end hospitality

The luxury goods company has acquired Belmond Ltd for $2.6 billion

A Louis Vuitton store in Paris, France. Reuters
A Louis Vuitton store in Paris, France. Reuters

Having already cornered the luxury fashion market, LVMH is moving into the hotel business.

LVMH, which is the parent company of 70 of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands, including Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior and Givenchy, has acquired Belmond Ltd, formerly Orient Express Hotels, which manages or co-owns hotels, restaurants, trains and river cruises around the world.

The $2.6 billion (Dh9.54 billion) deal is one LVMH’s largest, and sees the luxury giant acquire properties such as Hotel Cipriani in Venice (the site of George Clooney's wedding reception), Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg.

“Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travellers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations,” says Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH. “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.”

It’s a savvy business move at a time when consumers are increasingly looking to invest in experiences, rather than goods. The move to diversify is also likely a response to rising concern over the sustainability of Chinese demand, a driving force for growth in the fashion industry in recent years.

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