LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Friday that it now controls 98.1 percent of Italian jeweler Bulgari SpA, as part of its tender offer for minority shareholders.


The French luxury conglomerate said it had received 31.3 percent of Bulgari’s shares from minority shareholders as of today, the deadline for the offer.


LVMH purchased 50.4 percent of Bulgari from the company’s largest shareholder, the Bulgari family, in a cash-and-share swap valued at more than $6 billion in March. That deal made the Bulgari family the second-largest family shareholder in the French firm with a 3.3 percent stake behind LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault.


Minority shareholders were offered 12.15 euros, or $16.42 at current exchange, per share in cash, which will be paid on Sept 28.


According to industry experts, the Bulgari deal will double the size of LVMH’s watch and jewelry division.
The LVMH watch and jewelry division amassed  sales of 985 million euros, or $1.3 billion, in 2010, up from 764 million euros, or $1.06 billion at average exchange rate, in 2009. Including Bulgari, the division’s pro-forma sales would be 2.05 billion euros, or $2.71 billion. Bulgari posted sales of 1.06 billion euros, or $1.4 billion, last year, with jewelry accounting for almost half of that, followed by fragrances, watches and accessories.