By the Caribbean Journal staff
In a move sure to shake up the global luxury hotel market, luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has announced an agreement to acquire hotel brand Belmond.
The purchase of Belmond shares represented an equity value of $2.6 billion, in a transaction with an enterprise value of $3.2 billion.
Belmond operates a substantial portfolio of both hotels and luxury travel adventures, with properties in 24 countries.
Belmond is the former Orient-Express Hotels, which was rebranded in 2014.
The company was established more than four decades ago with the acquisition of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice.
That includes Belmond’s already-strong Caribbean presence, with the Belmond La Samanna in St Martin; the Belmond Cap Juluca and the Belmond Maroma on the Caribbean coast of Mexico.
“Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travelers 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.”
The deal significantly expands what had been a comparatively tiny hotel portfolio for LVMH centered on the “Cheval Blanc” brand — one that includes the Cheval Blanc St Barth Isle de France in St Barth. That property remains shuttered in the wake of Hurricane Irma, though it is now taking bookings for the first week of January, according to its Web site.
In a statement, LVMH said the deal would “significantly increase its presence in the ultimate luxury hotel world.”
“Belmond has a seasoned management team and is an ideal complement to the Cheval Blanc masions, renowned for their exceptional service, architecture and unique gastronomy,” LVMH said in a statement.
“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,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors of Belmond Ltd Roland Hernandez.