PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Friday its plans to buy luxury travel operator Belmond Ltd., owner of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train as well as high-end hotels including the Cipriani in Venice, have been cleared by regulatory authorities.
The deal is set to close on April 17.
LVMH announced the $2.6 billion purchase in December, marking its broader designs on the lucrative luxury hospitality sector.
The group, with a vast stable of high-end brands that includes shoemaker Berluti and high-jeweler Chaumet, has built up experience in the sector with its Cheval Blanc properties in Courchevel, St. Barths, the Maldives and Saint-Tropez, as well as Bulgari hotels.
Hotels account for the bulk of the Belmond’s revenues. Founded in 1976, it owns 33 luxury hotels, three safari camps, seven passenger train lines and two river cruise properties.
LVMH has said it expects to reap synergies between the new business and its wine and spirits activities — labels include Veuve Clicquot, Dom Pérignon and Ruinart — and perhaps peddle its luxury brands in hotel lobby boutiques. The company added: “Though none of this of course in locations where these activities would not be permitted.”
The group earlier this week kicked off the sector’s earnings season with an expectation-beating rise in first-quarter sales, at a brisk pace of 16 percent, fueled by the popularity of leather goods from its star label, Louis Vuitton.