Luxury property group Belmond has announced it has entered an agreement with LVMH Moet Hennessy Luis Vuitton (LVMH) to be acquired for US$2.6 billion.

Established more than 40 years ago with the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Belmond now owns and operates a global collection of 46 luxury hotel, restaurant, train and river cruise properties in 24 countries.

Its properties include Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg and the Cadogan Hotel in London, as well as the Royal Scotsman, British Pullman and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express trains.

In the 12 months to 30 September, Belmond recorded total revenues of $572 million.

The group announced it was considering going up for sale in August, but at the time could not give an estimate on when or if an acquisition would be completed.

Through the acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, LVMH says it will increase its presence in the luxury hotel world.

Roland Hernandez, chairman of the board of directors at Belmond, commented: “Following a strategic review that attracted broad and deep interest 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.”

Belmond CEO Roeland Vos added: “Today’s announcement is the result of the strong execution of our strategic vision that builds on our pioneering legacy and is an exciting development for all stakeholders, including our employees. 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.”

Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, said: “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 will 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.”;

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