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Le Manoir owner Belmond sold to French luxury goods company LVMH for £2.5b

14 December 2018 by
Le Manoir owner Belmond sold to French luxury goods company LVMH for £2.5b

The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019, subject to the approval of Belmond shareholders.

LVMH will pay $25 (£19.84) per share for the 46-strong portfolio. The sale price values Belmond at $2.6b (£2.07b), and with debt takes the acquisition price up to about $3.2b (£2.5b).

Belmond, which is London-based, has two hotels in the UK: Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, and Belmond Cadogan, which is due to open its doors to guests in London's Knightsbridge in February 2019.

Its other iconic properties around the world include Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Hotel Splendido in Portofino and Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, while the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman trains are also included in the collection.

The company had announced its intentions about a sale in August when it appointed Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as financial advisors to carry out a review of the business.

The acquisition will significantly increase LVMH's presence in the luxury sector; it is already the owner of Dom Pérignon, Krug, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior Couture and TAG Heuer watches amongst a wider portfolio of brands. It has an existing hotel presence with the Bulgari and Cheval Blanc brands.

LVMH is believed to have fought off stiff competition from an extensive number of bidders, including government funds from the Middle East and Asia as well as global hotel brands, to capture Belmond.

Roland Hernandez, chairman of the board of directors of Belmond ,commented: "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."

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

Originally known as Orient-Express Hotels, the company changed its name to Belmond in 2014.

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