Some of the most iconic Italian luxury hotels will be bought by LVMH luxury French giant: the two Splendido and Splendido Mare hotels in Portofino (Liguria), the Villa San Michele hotel in Fiesole (Florence), the Cipriani hotel in Venice, the Caruso in Ravello (in the Amalfi Coast) and the Timeo and Villa Sant’Andrea in Taormina (Sicily). The hotels are in fact part of the portfolio of the NY-listed Belmond Group Ltd (formerly Orient Express Hotels Ltd), with which LVMH has just signed an agreement for acquiring the whole capital for 2.6 billion dollars (or 25 dollars per share, with a premium of 42% on the closing price of December 13), with corresponds to a 3.2 billion dollars enterprise value (see the press release here).
LVMH defeated Blackstone, KSL Capital Partners, KKR, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp and Middle Eastern and Asian sovereign wealth funds that were also interested in the deal, as part of a four-months long auction managed by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase (see the press release here).
Belmond’s asset portfolio includes other globally well known hotels such as the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg or the Cataratas in the Iguassu National Park in Brazil. But also historical trains, including the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, or the legendary Club 21 restaurant in New York.
LVMH in the hotel world already owns the Bulgari hotels (in Milan, London, Bali, Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai) and the Cheval Blanc chain, luxury properties distributed in locations ranging from Courchevel (the first opened in 2006) in the Maldives and in Saint-Barthélemy.
In October 2012, when Belmond was still called Orient Express Hotels, it had been the subject of an attempt by the Indian Hotels (Tata Group), then a shareholder of Orient Express Hotels, together with the Charme fund managed by Italy’s private equity firm Montezemolo & Partners sgr (see the press release here), but the try was not successful and in November 2013 Tata withdrew the offer at 12.63 dollars per share (see here a previous post by BeBeez).